Ruta Meilutyte
Courtesy of: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
POZNAN, Poland, July 13. THE European Junior Championships held the penultimate day of finals, and Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte definitely provided some fireworks.

The top swim of the night came by way of Meilutyte of Lithuania in the women's 100-meter breaststroke semifinal heats. She scorched a time of 1:06.92, battering the previous meet mark of 1:07.49 set by Ilaria Scarcella in 2009. While nowhere near Meilutyte's world-leading 1:05.20 from the Mare Nostrum circuit earlier this summer, she's still a few weeks away from her taper meet at the FINA World Championships.

Russian Olympian Maria Baklakova clipped her meet record in the women's 200-meter freestyle with a winning time of 1:58.21. That swim just beat her 1:58.26 from last year, and gave her yet another victory here at the EJCs. Her teammate Valeria Salamatina finished second in 2:01.11, while Hungary's Melinda Novoszath snared third in 2:01.94.

In a very close contest, Lithuania's Danas Rapsys held off a hard-charging Grigory Tarasevich of Russia, 1:59.31 to 1:59.51, in the men's 200-meter back. Tarasevich turned in a 28.98 final 50 meters, but it was too little too late as he ran out of room in an attempt to track down Rapsys. Hungary's David Foldhazi finished just behind the top pair with a bronze-winning time of 1:59.89.

Italy's Claudia Tarzia produced another exciting finish, beating Czech's Lucie Svecena by the slimmest of margins in the women's 100-meter fly as Tarzia captured gold, 59.68 to 59.69. France's Marie Wattel wound up taking third in the finale with a 59.88 as the only other sub-1:00 performer.

Russia's Rozaliya Nasretdinova beat her competition record in the women's 50-meter free with a 25.05. That swim eclipsed her 25.19 from earlier today, which in turn took down Fran Halsall's 2006 mark of 25.28. She also managed to knock off Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte in the process as the Olympic gold medalist breaststroker took second in 25.26. Italy's Giorgia Biondani earned third in 25.31.

Tarasevich took home his second medal of the night, this time gold, with a 25.46 to clinch the men's 50-meter backstroke victory. The time nearly beat the competition record of 25.40 owned by Christian Diener since 2011. Evgeny Sedov finished second for Russia in 25.55, while Greece's Apostolos Christou snagged third in 25.76.

Poland's Pawel Furtek earned the men's 800-meter free title in 7:59.12, while Czech's Jan Micka snagged second in 7:59.49. Poland's Wojciech Wojdak picked up third-place honors in 8:01.28.

Russia's Daria Ustinova (1:01.84), Alexander Kudashev (52.85), Vsevolod Zanko (1:01.37) and Maria Baklakova (54.52) won the mixed 400-meter medley relay title going away with a 3:50.58. Germany (3:53.93) and Poland (3:54.30) took second and third in the event.

In semifinal action, Russia's Daria Ustinova led the women's 100-meter backstroke with a 1:01.64, while Great Britain's Kathleen Dawson took second in 1:01.97. Great Britain's James Guy qualified first in the men's 200-meter free with a 1:49.84, while Hungary's Dalma Sebestyen smashed the field in the women's 200-meter IM with a 2:15.28. Denmark's Daniel Andersen paced the men's 100-meter fly in 53.50 with Russia's Alexander Kudashev close behind in 53.78.

Sweden's Johannes Skagius lowered the men's 100-meter breaststroke meet record with a 1:00.93 in semis. That swim surpassed the 1:00.97 set by Andrea Toniato back in 2009.

Results: European Junior Championships: Day Four Finals

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