Dutch Steenbergen dents Openysheva's bid for dominance

Baku, June 24, AZERTAC

Russia's teenage phenomenon Arina Openysheva won two more Baku 2015 titles on Wednesday night, but her hopes of a Michael Phelps-like haul of eight golds were thwarted by brilliant Dutch freestyler Marrit Steenbergen.

Openysheva, already a winner in the 4x100m freestyle relay, took the 400m freestyle but the brief 45-minute pause between the eight-length race and the 100m final proved too little recovery time.

Steenbergen, 15, beat her by nearly half a second for the blue riband sprint crown in 53.97 seconds, meaning a rare silver for the 16-year-old Russian.

"Arina is a really good swimmer. I didn't expect to beat her and it wasn't my goal," said Steenbergen, who had never defeated the seven-time European junior champion.

Openysheva, who had been tipped to equal Phelp's haul of eight Olympic gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, still ended the night a winner, however, anchoring Russia's mixed 4x100m freestyle team to a victory.

Russia's domination was emphasised by the 200m breaststroke triumph of Anton Chupkov, the double Youth Olympics champion, who won in 2:10.85, more than two seconds ahead of team-mate Kirill Mordashev, with Britain's Luke Davies third.

Polina Egorova took the 200m backstroke for Russia, before Britain's Luke Greenbank won the 100m backstroke, chasing and overhauling Russia's Filipp Shopin.

"The others British gold medalists were showing us their medals last night and I thought, 'I want one'," said Greenbank.

Long-time leader Carmen Balbuena Heredia of Spain lost power in the 200m butterfly final as Germany's Julia Mrozinski stormed past in the last 15 metres to win gold.

Nicolas D'Oriano won the marathon of the pool, the 1500m, for France's first victory, in a compelling duel with Ernest Maksumov of Russia.

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