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Brusnikina Wins 3rd Swimming Gold

July 2, 2000

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) _ Olga Brusnikina won her third gold medal in synchronized swimming as Russia completed a sweep of the team titles at the European Championships Sunday.

The eight Russians put on a dazzling three-minute free routine that gave them a record six 10s from seven judges for artistic impression. The other judge awarded a 9.9.

Brusnikina earlier won the duet and the non-Olympic solo events.

The Russians, who also got two 10s and the rest 9.9s for technical merit, amassed 99.520 points, Italy was second with 97.480, followed by France with 97.000.

The Russians were unchallenged in all phases of the synchro events, also sweeping preliminaries in solo and duet.

Brusnikina was the most impressive, winning her fifth consecutive team gold medal, along with Elena Nazarova and Olga Novokshchenkova. The streak started at the 1993 championships.

In the non-Olympic open water competition, France’s Stephane Lecat won the 15.5-mile race in the Espoo-Nuuksio lake in 5 hours, 5 minutes, 22.5 seconds.

David Meca of Spain was second at 5:05.28.9 and Fabio Fusi of Italy third at 5:06.25.5.

The main swimming races start Monday.