Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee was beaten by Spain's Javier Gomez in a thrilling sprint finish in the Yokohama leg of the World Triathlon Series.
The lead changed hands several times during the closing stages of the run but world champion Gomez had the edge while countryman Mario Mola was third.
American Gwen Jorgensen won the women's event as Britain's Non Stanford finished seventh on her return.
The Welsh athlete has spent almost two years out with injury.
Olympic champion Brownlee, 27, only returned from an ankle injury with victory in Cape Town last month.
"It was a tough run and I was hanging on for most of it," he said.
Gomez, who finished in one hour 47 seconds, stays top of the standings before the next event in London at the end of May.
The Yokohama finish was the reverse of Cape Town result where Brownlee outsprinted the Spaniard.
"I had nothing; it was the worst I have felt in a race," said the Briton, while Gomez said: "It was one of my best races ever."
Britain's Mark Buckingham enjoyed his best World Triathlon Series result, coming fourth.
Belgian Marten van Riel was leading at the end of the bike race but suffered a painful fall on the final bend as he was unclipping from his pedals.
Jorgensen's victory in the women's race - one minute ahead of Australian's Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Moffat in second and third - was her ninth consecutive win.
Stanford, though, was just happy to finish the race: "It was great to be back racing today and my goal was always to get to the finish line in one piece," she told BBC Sport.
"There's still work to be done but after 20 months away I can't complain too much."
|World Triathlon Series schedule|
|Date||Venue||Men's winner||Women's winner|
|6-7 March||Abu Dhabi||Mario Mola||Gwen Jorgensen|
|28-29 March||Auckland||Jonathan Brownlee||Gwen Jorgensen|
|11-12 April||Gold Coast||Jonathan Brownlee||Gwen Jorgensen|
|25-26 April||Cape Town||Alistair Brownlee||Vicky Holland|
|16-17 May||Yokohama||Javier Gomez||Gwen Jorgensen|
|15-20 September||Chicago - Grand Final|