(UPDATES with quotes)
America's Matthew Grevers powered to gold in the men's 100 meters backstroke Monday, setting a new Olympic record along the way.
The double Beijing champion in relays was second on the turn but pushed hard in the final straight to win it in 52.16 seconds.
That easily bested Aaron Piersol's 2008 Olympic record of 52.54, when Grevers took the silver.
"It feels incredible. I came so close back in 2008 and when Aaron retired I knew I stood a chance."
Grevers' teammate Nick Thoman claimed the silver in 52.92 seconds, with the bronze going to Japan's Ryosuke Irie, who was a split second back.
Thoman said there were no hard feelings losing out to a teammate.
"We are all members of team USA. They're great teammates and we all help push each other. They're great guys and this result is down to everyone," said Thoman, a world champion in the 4x100m medley.
Home favorite Liam Tancock, the world record holder in the 50 meters backstroke, could only manage fifth.