Swimming: Italian teen Pilato sets 50m breaststroke world record

Benedetta Pilato reacts after breaking the record at the Duna Arena in Budapest, on May 22, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

BUDAPEST (REUTERS) - Italian 16-year-old Benedetta Pilato broke the women's 50 metre breaststroke world record at the European swimming championships in Budapest with a time of 29.30 seconds in Saturday's (May 22) semi-finals.

The previous long course best of 29.40 was set by US swimmer Lilly King, the reigning Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, at the world championships in the same pool in the Hungarian capital in 2017.

"I thought I might break the European record but definitely not the world record," said Pilato, who was silver medallist behind King in the non-Olympic event at the 2019 world championships.

The final is on Sunday.

Another young swimmer also made headlines in the Duna Arena pool, with 17-year-old Anastasia Gorbenko denying Hungary's Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu a sixth successive 200m individual medley gold.

It was the first European women's title for an Israeli swimmer, with Britain's Abbie Wood taking silver and Hosszu the bronze.

On the men's side, Britain's world and Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty defended his 50m title - his third European gold of the week - with a winning time of 26.21 seconds.

"I don't want to sound arrogant, but that was an outstanding swim," he told the BBC after winning by half a body length.

Britain extended their lead over Russia at the top of the medals table with nine golds, seven silvers and four bronzes.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.