Michael Phelps of the U.S. holds up his gold medal for the men's 200m Butterfly at the FINA 2011 Swimming World Championships in Shanghai (Photo: AP)
Phelps led after 100 meters Wednesday, but briefly relinquished the lead to Matsuda with 50 meters to go. But Phelps, showing some of the late burst that typified his run to eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, finished well ahead in 1 minute, 53.34 seconds.
Matsuda won the silver in 1:54.01 and Wu Peng of China the bronze in 1:54.67.
Phelps was the defending champion, setting the world record of 1:51.51 while taking gold at Rome in 2009 before the high-tech bodysuits were banned.