DUNKERQUE, July 27. SIX European records fell on the first day of competition at the European Junior Championships, in historic Dunkerque, France.
German swimmers accounted for two of the new marks. Toni Helbig won the men's 50m backstroke in 26.14, Desiree Mahle took the women's 50m breaststroke in 32.35.
The Czech Republic's Kvetoslav Svoboda set a continenntal junior mark in winning the 200 free. His time, 1:49.76, was more than two seconds faster than the runner up. Ukraine's Andriy Serdinov took the men's 100 meter butterfly in 53.73, after setting a junior record of 53.65 in the semi-finals.
Hungary's Eva Risztov, 15, took the women's 200 fly in a junior record 2:11.20, while Romania's Diana Mocanu was a record-setter in the 100 m backstroke at 1:01.85.
German swimmers won four of the 12 events on Day One. In addition to Helbig's and Mahle's record swims, Michael Fischer took the men's 100m breast in 1:03.11, while the German men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay came away with a narrow victory in 3:27.29. Great Britain (3:27.89) and France (3;27.98) were close behind.
In all, nine countries were represented in the gold medal column, with eight countriews winning one event apiece.
Finland's Hanna Seppala won the women's 100 meter free in 56.69. Spain's Roser Vives grabbed the women's 400 IM in 4:52.62, while Russia walked away with the women's 4 x 200 meter free relay with a time of 8:15.98, almost seven seconds faster than Hungary, the silver medalists.
Greece's Vasileios Demetis, 17, took the men's 400 meter medley, clocking 4:26.62.