The U.S. stronghold on the 400m individual medley was shaken off when Japan’s Kosuke Hagino took the gold in a time of four minutes, 6.05 seconds. Team USA member Chase Kalisz, in his first Olympic appearance, took silver for the U.S.' first swimming medal of 2016 in a time of 4:06.75 while Hagino’s teammate Daiya Seto earned a bronze, clocking 4:09.71. Japan had never won gold in this event before.
American Jay Litherland took fifth place, racing to 4:11.68.
Since 1996, Americans Tom Dolan (1996, 2000), Michael Phelps (2004, 2008) and Ryan Lochte (2012) traditionally claimed Olympic gold in this event.
“Obviously, I’m aware of the streak of the U.S. and all of our IMers," Kalisz told media after the race. "It dates back to Tom Dolan and Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, and those are some of the best swimmers in U.S. history. I think I’m very happy with my time, and I know that I gave it my best effort and I got beat by a world-class competitor right here. Kosuke’s unbelievable, and I honestly gave my best effort, and I’m going to go to bed knowing that tonight. I have no regrets.”
Lochte, the defending 2012 Olympic champion, missed out on qualifying for this event when he finished third in June’s U.S. Olympic Trials after injuring his groin.