Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers held on to retain her world 200m title on Friday as the United States had another night to savour at the London Stadium and two experienced campaigners claimed more gold.
Schippers, who won bronze in the 100m, roared off the bend into the final straight and looked as if she would coast safely home.
But the Dutchwoman began to tie up and only a savage dip at the line that saw her clock 22.05 seconds edged her past Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou by just three-hundredths of a second. It was Ta Lou’s second silver after her efforts in the 100m won by American Tori Bowie, absent from the 200.
‘I fought for that,’ said Schippers, who won 200m silver in the Rio Olympics. ‘I have worked so hard this year so I am so happy. It’s so cool. Two times in a row is very special too.
‘It was very important to win. I worked so hard in the last years and last year was not the easiest for me. I changed everything and got a new coach, so I’m very happy.
‘It’s great, especially with a gold medal, I am very pleased. My secret is enjoying the sport and enjoying my racing. I feel a little bit nervous starting out, but I’m a final runner and I’m grateful for the experience now it’s over.’
Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who in the space of 20 metres fell from clear leader to finish fourth in the 400m, had the consolation of claiming bronze in 22.15sec.
For all the excitement of the sprint, the most dramatic race of the evening was the women’s 3000m steeplechase.
It had everything, from one of the four Kenyans actually running past the first water jump to a fall to smart tactical racing that had the crowd on their feet.
Olympic bronze medallist Emma Coburn finished the final 150 metres strongly for a first American steeplechase gold in a championships record 9min 02.58sec, with team-mate Courtney Frerichs taking silver ahead of Kenya’s defending champion Hyvin Jepkemoi.
In the field, American Brittney Reese claimed a fourth world title in the long jump, having previously won in 2009, 2011 and 2013, and Poland’s Pawel Fajdek a third consecutive gold in the men’s hammer throw.
In a compelling hammer competition, Fajdek defended his title with a best of 79.81 metres.
There were also two silver medals for Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag as their country’s federation remains banned by the IAAF over a widespread state-sponsored doping programme.
Dariya Klishina split the Americans in the women’s long jump, with veteran defending champion Tianna Bartoletta taking bronze, and Valeriy Pronkin was sandwiched in between Fajdek and bronze medal winner Wojciech Nowicki in the hammer.
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