Italian Fabio Scozzoli won the men's European 100 metres breaststroke title here on Tuesday and dedicated the victory to the previous champion the late Alexander Dale Oen.
The death of Dale Oen, who collapsed and died of unknown causes in the showers at the Norwegian team's American training base on April 30, has overshadowed the championships with a moving dedication to him by the organisers on Monday which would have been his 27th birthday.
Scozzoli, who edged out Ukraine's Valeriy Dymo for gold, had many a battle with Dale Oen finishing third to him in the 2010 European Championship and taking silver behind the Norwegian at last year's world championships.
"I dedicate this medal to my predecessor Alexander Dale Oen," said Scozzoli.
The French celebrated victory in the principal women's final of the second day of the championships as Alexianne Castel won the 200m backstroke in front of Germany's Jenny Mensing.
"For my first European championship that is good, it is even very good," beamed the 21-year-old, who had to give second best to French great Laure Manaudou in both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the French championships.
"With a really good time and a much better paced race by myself than at the French Championships you have to be pleased.
"I took a hit at the Championships and now I know how to manage my races and I think that I can become even stronger," added Castel, who will compete in both the 100 and 200m backstroke at the Olympics.