BERLIN — Adam Peaty of Britain set a world record in the 50-meter breaststroke on Friday, finishing in 26.62 seconds in a semifinal heat at the European Swimming Championship.
Peaty appeared amazed at the end of the second of two semifinal heats and needed a few moments to realize that he had set a new mark.
The old record of 26.67 belonged to Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa, set on July 29, 2009, in Rome, when swimmers were still using high-tech, performance-enhancing full body suits.
"I feel absolutely amazing. I had to look at that scoreboard about five times before I knew I had broken it," Peaty said.
At the recent Commonwealth Games, Peaty finished second to Van der Burgh over 50 meters, but beat the Olympic champion in the 100.
Peaty won the 100 breaststroke gold medal on Tuesday in Berlin and added another one in the new mixed relay event with Britain.
Florent Manaudou of France won the 100-meter freestyle race to clinch his third gold medal of the competition.
Manaudou clocked 47.98 to edge teammate Fabien Gilot, who took the silver in 48.36. Luca Leonardi of Italy earned the bronze in 48.38. Manaudou also won the 50 butterfly title and was on the victorious French team in the 4×100.
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden failed to win her fourth gold medal of the championship when she was upset by Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark in the 100 butterfly. Ottesen got off to a better start and barely held off Sjostrom’s comeback attempt, winning by one-hundredth of a second in 56.51. Ilaria Bianchi of Italy was third in 57.71.
Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy underlined his long-distance dominance by winning the 800 freestyle gold medal on Friday to add to his 1,500 title at the championship.
Pal Jonsen of the Faroe Islands prevented an Italian 1-2 by claiming the silver medal ahead of Gabriele Detti.
Paltrinieri, winner of the 1,500 earlier in the week, clocked 7:44.98 seconds, beating Jonsen by 3.51 seconds and Detti by 4.37.
Paltrinieri took an early lead and was never threatened.
Rikke Moller Pedersen of Denmark also swept to her second gold of the championship, adding the 200 breaststroke title to the 100 in the same discipline.
Pedersen, the world record holder, covered the distance in 2:19.84 easily outpacing Molly Renshaw of Britain, who took the silver in 2:23.82. Jessica Vall Montero of Spain gained the bronze in 2:24.08.