Rome: Ryan Lochte smashed Michael Phelps` world record to win the men`s 200 metres individual medley final at the world championships.
The American swam one minute 54.10 to beat Phelps` Beijing Olympic time of 1:54.23.
Hungary`s Laszlo Cseh, who arrived at the championships with a stomach problem, was second with Eric Shanteau of the United States taking bronze.
The result was never really in doubt from the off with Lochte storming through the water in each of the four strokes.
Three-times champion Phelps decided not to defend his title this year after scaling back his programme.
Lochte, second to his compatriot in Melbourne in 2007, showed no mercy in stealing his crown and his record.
The 24-year-old already had one gold from Rome after the US 4x100 freestyle relay team triumphed on Sunday.
"Everytime I look up I see an American," Cseh told reporters.