China's Sun Yang narrowly missed out on Grant Hackett's 1,500 metres freestyle world record on Thursday, denying South Korea's Park Tae-Hwan a fourth gold at the Asian Games.
On a night of high drama, China was disqualified from the men's 4x100m medley relay after it had touched in first place, handing the win to rival Japan, which grabbed three golds.
Roared on by a passionate crowd, Sun pulled clear early with a devastating show of power and threatened the world mark set by Australian superstar Hackett in 2001 as he demolished the field.
His time of 14min 35.43sec was less than a second slower than Hackett's time of 14:34.56, but he obliterated the Asian record by more than 10 seconds.
Park lined up alongside Sun and previous Asian record holder Zhang Lin for the penultimate race of the Games, bidding to add to his golds in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle events.
Sun's win, after finishing as runner-up to Park in the 200m and 400m freestyle, was one of two more gold medals for dominant China, taking its overall tally in the pool to 24.
Park, the Olympic 400m freestyle champion, was second, a whopping 26.29sec behind Sun with Zhang well back in third.
Sun said he was satisfied with his time and was motivated by competing with Zhang and Park.
“I haven't thought about breaking the world record. My goal was to break the Asian record,” he said.
The packed crowd urged China to victory in the final event of the swimming competition, the men's 4x100m medley relay. But after touching first it was disqualified after one of its swimmers jumped into the water before his teammate had reached the wall, handing the gold to Japan in a time of 3:34.10. South Korea took silver and Kazakhstan was third.
Elswhere, Jiao Liuyang of China was denied a butterfly clean sweep, finishing fourth as Singapore's Tao Li won the women's 50m event in 26.10sec with Yuka Kato of Japan second and China's Lu Ying winning bronze.
The host nation's 14-year-old sensation Ye Shiwen won her second gold of the Games, easing to victory in the women's 200 metres individual medley.
Ye, who won the 400m individual medley on Sunday, timed 2:09.37 to beat Wang Qun of China and Choi Hye-Ra of South Korea.
Japan's Junya Koga edged out Ryosuke Irie to win the men's 50m backstroke gold, denying his compatriot a backstroke treble.
Koga timed 25.08sec to finish just 0.08sec ahead of Irie, who earlier won the 100m and 200m titles. China's Cheng Feiyi took bronze.