Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock, European gold medallist Ruta Meilutyte and short-course specialist Beryl Gastaldello claimed impressive wins on day two of the Fina Swimming World Cup in Berlin.
A sell-out crowd packed into the venue to witness home national hero Wellbrock take to the water in the German capital for the 1500m final.
Rival turned training partner Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine pushed him hard for much of the 60 length race, but roared on by fans, it was Wellbrock who closed out the victory.
“It was great to hear the support when I came out to race and it’s always an honour to win in my country,” he told Fina.
Meilutyte, who won Olympic gold at the age of 15 at London 2012 before retiring from the sport in 2019, marked her major event return with gold medals at the World and European Championships earlier this year.
The 25-year-old Lithuanian claimed her first Fina World Cup win since 2014 with a dominant display in the 100m breaststroke final, finishing in one minutes 3.07 seconds.
“I try to treat every race the same, whether it’s in the World Championships, Olympics or a World Cup, so I’m pleased with the result and surprised by the time I did at this point in the season,” Meilutyte told Fina.
Tes Schouten, who set a new 200m breaststroke Dutch record on the first day of competition, was second in the 100m final in new personal best time of 1:04.71, with Anastasia Gorbenko of Israel (1:04.96) third.
Gastaldello, who won the 100m individual medley title on day one, glided into the turn in the 50m butterfly final, but produced a strong finish to claim victory.
“You would have thought after all these years of racing I’d know not to make these mistakes, but I’m glad I was still able to get to the wall first,” she told Fina after edging out national team-mate Melanie Henrique of France.
100m backstroke world record holder Thomas Ceccon of Italy took second behind Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago in the 50m backstroke, with countryman – and fellow European champion – Nicolo Martinenghi also second in the 50m breaststroke.
Frenchman Maxime Grousset looked to have the edge on Rio 2016 Olympic 100m champion Kyle Chalmers heading into the final length, but the Australian produced a typically powerful finish to secure his fifth successive World Cup win in the event.
Grousset took silver with Italian Leonardo Deplano third.
The men’s 200m individual medley final saw two other Europeans finish second and third with Hubert Kos of Hungary and Lithuanian Danas Rapsys finishing behind South African winner Matthew Sates.
Great Britain’s Abbie Wood followed up her third place in the 200m breaststroke on the opening night with second in the 400m individual medley, while Dutch European gold medallist Marrit Steenbergen finished third in the 200m freestyle.