(UPDATES with quotes)
France's Yannick Agnel crushed the field for 200 meters freestyle gold on Monday.
Agnel led from the start and won by a body length in 1 minute 43.14 seconds, with South Korea's Taehwan Park tying with China's Yang Sun for silver, both clocked at 1:44.93.
"I wasn't expecting it. I didn't have a plan for the race and it's above all my hopes and expectations, especially the time I did," Agnel said
It's Agnel's second gold after he led France home in the 4x100 meters relay Sunday, powering past American ace Ryan Lochte in the home straight.
In this race, Lochte was second at the final turn but was pushed off the podium for fourth.
"I wasn't expecting other people to be so slow, especially with all the other competitors like Lochte," Agnel said.
Lochte, who won the 400m medley gold on Saturday, acknowledged getting his game plan wrong.
"I guess I took it out a little too fast. I knew if I wanted to be in the race I had to go out a little. Next time I won't make that same mistake."
Silver medalist Park, meanwhile, who also came runner-up in Beijing, suggested he never had a chance of winning.
"I didn't get gold, but because the competitors were such high-ranking athletes, it was an honor to be in the same race."
"They are so fast," he chuckled.
"I didn't have enough confidence before the race but my Korean teammates encouraged me by saying good things."