Russia star in the pool at European Games

Arina Openysheva added two more swimming golds to her collection at the European Games in Baku as Russia enjoyed a dominant day in the pool on Wednesday.

Young prodigy Openysheva was already a victor in the 4×100 metre freestyle relay and the 16-year-old enjoyed individual success by triumphing in the 400m freestyle ahead of Germany’s Leonie Kullmann and compatriot Anastasiia Kirpichnikova.

Openysheva, who had targeted as many as eight gold medals before the Games, also helped Russia to victory in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay.

However, her hopes of taking home a hat-trick of victories and her attempt at eight golds for Baku were dashed by Marrit Steenbergen of Netherlands in the 100m freestyle.

With only 45 minutes between the 400m and 100m races, Openysheva did not have enough recovery time and had she had to settle for silver.

“Arina is a really good swimmer. I didn’t expect to beat her and it wasn’t my goal,” said a surprised Steenbergen.

As well as Openysheva’s success, Russia collected further gold medals courtesy of Anton Chupkov in the men’s 200m breaststroke and Polina Egorova in the women’s 200m backstroke.

It was not a clean-sweep, though, as Germany’s Julia Mrozinski surged past Carmen Balbuena Heredia of Spain in the women’s 200m butterfly final, while Luke Greenbank won the men’s 100m backstroke final for Great Britain and Nicolas D’Oriano of France took the men’s 1500m freestyle title.

There were further French celebrations in fencing thanks to Ivan Trevejo’s victory in the men’s individual epee, while Alice Volpi added to Italy’s medal haul by winning the women’s individual foil final.

In boxing, Great Britain’s Nicola Adams will have the chance to add to her Olympic title after she reached the women’s flyweight final, where she will meet Sandra Drabik of Poland.

The men’s light flyweight section saw the Republic of Ireland’s Brendan Irvine and Russia’s Bator Sagaluev reach the final, while the latter’s compatriot will fight Dzmitry Asanau of Belarus in the men’s bantamweight final

Poland, Bulgaria, Germany and Russia all reached the semi-finals of the men’s volleyball.

In the men’s 3×3 basketball, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Russia, Slovenia and Italy won their final group games and will play in the knockout stages. In the women’s competition, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Russia all won their last pool games and will play in the last-16.

Portugal and Ukraine were Group A victors as beach soccer started on Wednesday, while Russia and Spain also managed wins in Group B.