Adam Peaty completed a remarkable quadruple-quadruple as he helped Great Britain to another relay gold on the final evening of the European Swimming Championships.
The 26-year-old teamed up with James Guy, Luke Greenbank and Duncan Scott as the World Championship quartet repeated their 4x100 medley success on the European stage.
His latest gold medal takes Peaty’s tally to 16 European titles since 2014, having already won the 50m and 100m breaststroke and the mixed 4x100m medley relay in Budapest.
Peaty has now won four titles at four consecutive European Championships, with the Olympic champion helping his team touch the wall in a new championship record of 3:28.59.
“It's some great swimming, I've never really been this fast in relays, never mind doing it without a proper taper or rest - it's looking very strong,” said Peaty.
“We couldn't have done that without the guys swimming the heats this morning, so it's a great team effort all round.”
Victory for GB’s men was then followed by another relay gold in the women’s 4x100m medley relay for the team of Kathleen Dawson, Molly Renshaw, Laura Stephens and Anna Hopkin.
Dawson smashed the 100m backstroke European record with her opening leg, setting a new best time of 58.08, as the British quartet topped the podium in a new championship record.
“It's great to finally get it, especially here,” said Dawson.
“It's amazing seeing the British team doing so well - it was amazing seeing Cassie (Wild) and then the boys win tonight, that really lit a fire under me so I think I knew I was going to make it.”
16/16 Consecutive European Gold Medals. We’re in a great place as a team and can’t wait to see what develops over the next few months into the Olympics! pic.twitter.com/vXiustsV5U— Adam Peaty MBE (@adam_peaty) May 23, 2021
Renshaw added: “In general, the whole week, GB have just been smashing it. The relays especially have done so well and won so many golds.
“Coming into this and watching the boys in the call room win gold, we were just so pumped behind the scenes. We knew that if we were all swimming best times, we could be up there on top of the podium.
“It's nice that we all delivered, and Kat got a European record, so it's amazing, we’re really happy.”
Meanwhile, Cassie Wild delivered a stunning swim to secure a surprise 200m backstroke silver, finishing in 2:07.74 as Italian Margherita Panziera took gold in 2:06.08.
“I can't stop smiling but I can't believe it,” she said. “I actually can't quite believe that, because it's been such a tough week with how much I've been racing.
“For me, it's a lot - normally I get to the end of a three-day meet and feel like I need a break. The 200m is always something I didn't like, to be honest, I'd always try to avoid doing it!
“But everyone has said that with my stroke I could do a good 200 back and I used to say no! Now I've done one, so I'm probably going to be doing a few more 200 backs!
“I knew I was quite fit, but I didn't think I'd drop a 2:09 and then a 2:07 in the 200m, so I'm absolutely thrilled - I can't put a sentence together!”
Ben Proud also finished second in the men’s 50m freestyle, with Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen just pipping the Brit to the gold medal as Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev took bronze.
Guy preceded his gold medal in the medley relay with bronze in the 100m butterfly while Max Litchfield also battled to third place in the final of the 400m individual medley.
The British team finished top of the medal table with a stunning total of 26 medals (11 golds, nine silvers and six bronze) from seven days of racing.
Guy, Freya Anderson and Tom Dean finished with six medals each.
"We have done so much swimming this week and we're all absolutely shattered, but we race for one another and we're looking in a great place ahead of the Tokyo Olympics," Guy said.