Rebecca Adlington claimed Great Britain's first London 2012 medal in the pool when she produced a performance full of her customary guts and determination as she took bronze in the 400 metres freestyle.
The race was won by Frenchwoman Camille Muffat in a new Olympic record and textile world record of four minutes 01.45 seconds with American Allison Schmitt second.
However, it was a superb swim by Adlington, forced to swim out of lane eight after only just scraping into the final. The 23-year-old came from sixth at halfway to touch in 4mins 03.01secs.
The double gold medallist in Beijing was shocked by her third place after her heat swim although, ever the athlete looking to improve, she was slightly disappointed with her time.
She said: "I didn't expect a medal especially after this morning going in eighth. It was an extremely tough race. I am a little disappointed at the time, I did go faster in March, but to be honest I am so happy I managed to sneak that medal."
Team GB's Ellen Gandy was eighth as the United States' Dana Vollmer won the Olympic 100 metres butterfly title in a new world record of 55.98 seconds.
For Melbourne-based Gandy it was her first Olympic final and there was little expectation that she would challenge for medals with the 200m her favoured event. The American had been favourite coming in to the final having set an Olympic record on Saturday a year after being crowned world champion in Shanghai.
Vollmer took 0.08secs off Sarah Sjostrom's 2009 world record as she added the Olympic title to the gold she won in Athens in 2004 as a 16-year-old member of the triumphant 4x200m freestyle squad. Lu Ying of China was second in 56.87secs with Australia's Alicia Coutts third 0.07 adrift.
Gemma Spofforth, Liam Tancock and Robbie Renwick all booked places in their respective finals on Monday night.
Spofforth, fourth in the 100m backstroke by a fingernail in Beijing, qualified sixth in 59.70 although Georgia Davies was 15th. Tancock was the third fastest qualifier for the men's 100m backstroke final in 53.25, while Renwick reached his second 200m freestyle final, four years after finishing eighth. He clocked the equal sixth-fastest time in the semi-finals in 1:46.65.