The hosts from Japan celebrated a surprise gold for Yui Ohashi in the women's 400m medley Sunday in Tokyo. American Emma Weyant, one of the favorites, placed second for silver with teammate Hali Flickinger touching third for bronze.
There was no crowd in the arena to cheer on Ohashi but her teammates and Japanese officials celebrated after she produced an immaculate swim to win gold in a time of 4:32.08.
Weyant took the silver medal 0.68 behind and compatriot Flickinger picked up the bronze in 4:34.90.
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who has dominated the event in recent years and was the defending champion, could finish only fifth.
Ohashi pulled away from Flickinger in the breaststroke leg and went into the freestyle with a lead of 1.99 seconds, giving her a comfortable cushion to hold off Weyant.