Team GB took its medal tally to six in the pool as Duncan Scott was beaten to the touch for his second individual event at these Games and Luke Greenbank won a bronze.
Just as had been the case in the 200metre freestyle, Scott had to make do with silver, this time behind Wang Shun, of China, in the 200m individual medley.
But it marked a third medal for Scott, who won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle and he still has further medal prospects over the course of the weekend.
It made him only the seventh British athlete in history to win three medals at a single Olympics, and only the second British swimmer to win three medals in one Games, the last achieved 113 years ago.
Now Britain’s most decorated Olympic swimmer, Scott had got off to a sluggish start and was fifth at the turn, a position he held more or less until the final freestyle leg where he closed the gap to the rest of the field bar his Chinese rival.
Greenbank added another medal to Team GB’s swimming haul with bronze in the men’s 200metre backstroke final in Tokyo on Friday.
The 23-year-old had posted an impressive time in his semi-final to mark himself out as a medal contender.
And the training partner of Tokyo gold medallist Adam Peaty – they share the same coach in Mel Marshall – backed that up with a place on the podium.
The gold had always looked destined to go to Evgeny Rylov, of the Russian Olympic Committee, who led from start to finish to break the Olympic record in the process.
Greenbank had always been an impressive youth swimmer and won bronze at the 2019 World Championships in the same event, where he was also part of Britain’s gold-medal-winning 4x200m medley relay, who will bid for gold later at the weekend.