Great Britain's Francesca Halsall, left, won the 50m backstroke final.

Peaty and Halsall take gold for Great Britain

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Adam Peaty and Francesca Halsall claimed gold for Great Britain on the penultimate day of the European Aquatics Championships in London on Saturday.

World champion Peaty defended his 50 metres breaststroke title, while Halsall set a new championship record and personal best time of 27.57 seconds to land the 50m backstroke crown.

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Peaty powered home in 26.66secs to claim gold, ahead of team-mate Ross Murdoch, who finished third in 27.31s.

"My start wasn't the best, it could have been better, but I'm happy to post the same time as yesterday," said Peaty.

"Everything happens for a reason, though I over-thought the start and I paid for it. It's a splash and dash, but I'm really happy with that.

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"The crowd were absolutely amazing and this event is absolutely perfect for the British swimmers to gain some experience and confidence ahead of Rio."

Murdoch reacted to his 50m breaststroke bronze with a mixture of relief and delight.

"That's my ninth race of the week and I am really happy with how my body has held up during the week," said Murdoch.

"I'm absolutely delighted. It's been a great week here in London and to have to European Aquatics Championships on home soil ahead of Rio is great."

Halsall edged out Denmark's Mie Nielsen to claim gold in the 50m backstroke, while British hope Georgia Davies picked up a bronze medal.

"That was exciting," said Halsall, reacting to her victory and new PB.

"I really enjoyed that a lot. It shows I'm in great shape at an important stage in the season.

"I managed to swim in a straight line and deliver a great time tonight, so I'm really happy with that."

Halsall later topped the 50m freestyle rankings across the semi-finals, while Ben Proud won his 50m freestyle semi-final to qualify second-fastest overall.

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