DOHA - Briton Adam Peaty's hopes of a confidence-boosting win in the 100 metres breaststroke were dashed on Feb 12 as the Olympic champion was forced to settle for bronze behind American winner Nic Fink at the World Championships.
On the comeback trail after taking a mental health break last year, world record holder Peaty qualified fastest for the final at the Aspire Dome with a time of 58.60 seconds but was half a second slower with the title on the line.
Veteran Fink, meanwhile, bravely fended off Peaty and Italian runner-up Nicolo Martinenghi to win in 58.57.
"I think I pushed it a little too far in the first 50 (metres) but at the end it's good to be a part of (this)," said Peaty, who is aiming for a third successive gold in the event at this year's Paris Games.
"Definitely not an easy race to do ... Of course, we've got a long way to go."
American Kate Douglass retained her 200m individual medley title, burning away in the final freestyle leg to beat Canada's Sydney Pickrem by a body length.
A winner in two minutes and 7.17 seconds in Fukuoka last year, Douglass shaved her personal best to 2:07:05.
"That definitely hurt a lot. A lot more than it usually does at the end of the race," she said. "I'm really happy with it."
Germany's Angelina Kohler won the women's 100m butterfly title in a relatively weak field missing Canadian world champion Maggie MacNeil and the Fukuoka minor medallists, Zhang Yufei and Emma McKeon.
The 23-year-old Kohler burst into tears in the pool after winning in 56.28 seconds, 0.33 seconds ahead of American silver medallist Claire Curzan.
A day after electrifying the championships with the 100m freestyle world record in the men's 4x100m relay, China's Pan Zhanle failed to reach the semi-finals of the 200m, an event he was expected to contend for medals.
The 19-year-old never got out of second gear, posting a time of 1:51.03, more than six seconds off his personal best.
Pan's surprisingly anaemic performance may be with a view to the 100m freestyle for ...