China triumphed in the women's 4x200m freestyle in a world record time  ©Getty Images

China held off the United States to win the women’s 4x200 metres freestyle Olympic title in a world record time as both nations secured two gold medals here today.

The relay completed the morning’s swimming schedule, with Australia, China and the US expected to contend for the title.

China took a surprise lead in the opening leg with Yang Yunxuan touching first in 1min 54.37sec, with individual gold medallist Ariane Titmus of Australia ending 0.14 behind.

Tang Muhan and Zhang Yufei maintained China’s slender advantage over Australia by holding off Emma McKeon and Madison Wilson, respectively, with 0.41 separating the nations heading into the final leg.

China’s biggest challenge would come from the US, as six-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky posted the fastest split of the final by clocking 1:53.76.

The effort saw Ledecky move into silver medal position, but Li Bingjie finished strongly as China finished in a world record time of 7:40.33 to win gold.

The US team of Allison Schmitt, Paige Madden, Kathryn McLaughlin and Ledecky ended just 0.4 seconds off the pace as the silver medallists.

Australia were left settling for bronze as Leah Neale stopped the clock in 7:41.29.

The three podium finishers each dipped under the previous world record mark of 7:41.50, which was set by Australia at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

China had already celebrated gold in the pool earlier in the session, with Zhang earning a dominant victory in the women’s 200 metres butterfly.

Caeleb Dressel was crowned men's 100 metres freestyle champion ©Getty Images
Caeleb Dressel was crowned men's 100 metres freestyle champion ©Getty Images

Zhang led from the start of the final and finished the event in an Olympic record time of 2:03.86.

The two gold medals add to Zhang’s silver medal in the women’s 100m butterfly.

Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger rounded off the podium places, with the Americans finishing 1.44 and 1.79 seconds behind the winner, respectively.

Two-time world champion Caeleb Dressel unseated Australia’s Kyle Chalmers as the Olympic 100 metres freestyle champion.

Dressel powered to victory in an Olympic record time of 47.02, shaving 0.03 seconds off the previous mark set by Australia’s Eamon Sullivan at Beijing 2008.

The result gave Dressel his first individual Olympic title, with the American having won two relay titles at Rio 2016 and one at Tokyo 2020.

Chambers claimed the silver medal at 0.06 behind the winner, with the Russian Olympic Committee’s Kliment Kolesnikov taking bronze in 47.44.

The men’s 800 metres freestyle event saw Robert Finke produce a late surge to win gold.

Finke headed into the final 100 metres of the race in fifth position, with the top qualifier Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock among those chasing long-time leader Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy.

Izaac Stubblety-Cook won the men's 200m breaststroke gold ©Getty Images
Izaac Stubblety-Cook won the men's 200m breaststroke gold ©Getty Images

An impressive sprint saw Finke complete the final 50 metres in 26.39, which saw the US swimmer touch first in a time of 7:41.87.

Paltrinieri earned a hard-fought silver medal in 7:42.11, as Romanchuk won bronze in 7:42.33.

A strong finish from Izaac Stubblety-Cook saw the Australian triumph in the men’s 200m breaststroke final.

Dutch swimmer Arno Kamminga was under world record pace during the opening 150m of the final, but slowed in the part of the race as Stubblety-Cook maintained his pace.

Stubblety-Cook completed the event in an Olympic record of 2:06.38 to win gold, while the fast starting Kamminga secured silver in 2:07.01.

Matti Mattsson won Finland’s first medal of Tokyo 2020 after winning bronze in 2:07.13, as world record holder Anton Chupkov of the ROC missed out on the podium in fourth.