American Tori Bowie upset Jamaican favourite Elaine Thompson to win world 100m on Sunday, as New Zealander Tomas Walsh dominated the shot put with a stunning series of throws.
Before another packed-out session at the London Stadium, Greek pole vaulter Ekaterina Stefanidi and heptathlete Nafi Thiam also added world titles to the Olympic golds they won in Rio last year.
Earlier in the day, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui won the men’s marathon to make up for his country’s podium no-show in the last two championships, while Kenyan-born Bahraini Rose Chelimo edged veteran Edna Kiplagat to win the women’s race.
Twenty-four hours after the fireworks of the men’s 100m final when Usain Bolt was upstaged by arch-rival Justin Gatin, Bowie ensured the US team made it 2-0 in the sprint stakes over Jamaica on day three of the championships.
Bowie made up for her silver at the Rio Games with a savage dip at the line that saw her win in 10.85 seconds, just one-hundredth ahead of Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou, with Thompson fifth (10.98).
“The dive doesn’t feel too good now,” said US champion Bowie. “I never give up until I’m over the line.”
Bowie fell to the ground after crossing the line and initially it was Ta Lou who celebrated only for the board to say otherwise.
“I had no idea that I had won,” said Bowie. “The only thing I knew was that tonight I was going to lay it all on the line.”
Thompson had started well, but faded after the halfway mark, unable to find an extra gear as she has done most of the season.
Ta Lou then emerged as the clear leader but Bowie ate into her advantage and then produced the dip of her life to take the title from under the diminutive Ivorian’s nose.
In the field, Walsh was in imperial form, producing his best, 22.03 metres, with the sixth and final effort in the men’s shot.
The 25-year-old former builder edged out America’s defending champion Joe Kovacs, who posted a best of 21.66.
There was drama to the end, however, as Kovacs was left fuming that his final throw that appeared to be more than 22m was ruled, rightly, a foul.
Croatia’s Stipe Zunic took the bronze with 21.46m while there was disappointment for Olympic champion Ryan Crouser, who could finish only sixth with 21.20m.
“To pull it out on the last one is awesome,” said Walsh.
“I knew that Crouser was going to attack on the last attempt and it is so special for me to know that I was able to attack, too.”
Greece’s Olympic champion Stefanidi enjoyed a compelling battle with American Sandi Morris in the pole vault.
The 27-year-old vaulted a national record of 4.91 metres for victory, failing three times at what would have been a championship record of 5.02m.
Morris, the world indoor champion and Olympic silver medallist on countback from Stefanidi in Rio last year, claimed silver with a best of 4.75m.
Cuba’s defending champion Yarisley Silva shared bronze with Robeilys Peinado of Venezuela.
Stefanidi’s feat was mirrored by Thiam, the 21-year-old Belgian doing just enough in the seventh and final event of the heptathlon, the 800m, to amass a winning total of 6,784 points, with overnight leader Carolin Schafer of Germany taking silver with 6,696.
“It was a really difficult year, with a lot of pressure but I managed to produce a great performance,” Thiam said.
“The thing with sport is, it doesn’t always pay off when you work hard and you’re never really sure if you’re going to produce something great. I’m doing great things at the moment but I know hard times are going to come at some point, they do for everyone.
“But as long as it’s going good I’m going to use my happiness as motivation.”