Benedetta Pilato broke the women's 50m breaststroke world record©Getty Images

Italy's 16-year-old starlet Benedetta Pilato broke the women's 50 metres breaststroke world record today on the penultimate day of the European Aquatics Championships in Budapest in Hungary.

She was 29.30sec in the semi-finals, besting the previous record of the United States' Lilly King, 29.40.

"I thought I was doing less than this morning, but not as much," said Pilato.

"I honestly don’t know what to say.

"I felt so much the cheering of others.

"When I saw the time, I didn’t think it was so low."

Britain's world record holder Adam Peaty laid down a challenge ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by blowing the rest of the field away in the men's 50m breaststroke.

The Olympic champion in the 100m breaststroke showed his talent over the 50m equivalent in a time of 26.21sec, far ahead of Belarus' silver medallist Ilya Shymanovich, who was 0.34 seconds back.

Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy won the bronze medal.

Ukraine's Mykhaylo Romanchuk claimed the men's 800m freestyle gold medal in a time of 7min 42.61sec, reeling in long-time leader Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy, who won silver.

Paltrinieri's compatriot Gabriele Detti won the bronze medal a few seconds back.

Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk won the gold medal in the women's 100m freestyle final in a time of 53.05, ahead of France's Marie Wattel and Anna Hopkin of Britain.

Hopkin claimed bronze by just 0.01 seconds ahead of The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Russia's Evgeny Rylov ended a dramatic men's 200m backstroke final by going past Britain's Luke Greenbank in the final 50m to claim the gold.

Less than two tenths of a second separated the two, with Rylov winning in 1:54.46.

Roman Mityukov of Switzerland won bronze by just 0.04 ahead of France's Yohann Ndoye Brouard.

Israel's Anastasia Gorbenko won in similarly dramatic fashion in the women's 200m individual medley final, setting a new European junior record in the process.

Just 0.13 separated the top three, but the Israeli swimmer was first to touch the wall in 2:09.99 ahead of Britain's Abbie Wood and Hungarian legend Katinka Hosszú.

In the final event of the night, Britain's Duncan Scott, Thomas Dean, Hopkin and Freya Anderson won the gold medal in the mixed 4x100m freestyle final in another tight finish.

Clocking a time of 3:22.07, the quartet equalled the Championship record set by France in Glasgow in 2018 and came close to breaking the European record set by The Netherlands in 2017.

The Dutch swimmers - Stan Pijnenburg, Jesse Puts, Kromowidjojo and Heemskerk - were close to stopping the Britons, finishing 0.19 behind, and the Italian team of Alessandro Miressi, Thomas Ceccon, Federica Pellegrini and Silvia Di Pietro were just over half a second away from the gold - instead winning bronze.