Sifan Hassan finally broke through in Doha last night when winning the gold medal in the 10,000m, an event she was only running for the second time.
The Dutch athlete had already set a world 5km record on the road and a world mile record on the track this season, and clinched a memorable year by winning her first world title in 30:17.33.
This season, Hassan has shown extraordinary versatility, clocking world-class times from 1,500m to the half-marathon, and in last night’s final stayed in touch with the leaders long enough to have the chance to unleash her superior sprinting speed on the last lap.
The Dutch woman took the lead from the eventual runner-up, Ethiopia’s 21-year-old Letesenbet Gidey, at the bell and dashed away to victory.
“I know I am more of a 1,500m and 5km runner, so if I could get close I would have enough to win. She (Gidey) kept trying to kick but in the last 800m I knew I had it.”
Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle produced the biggest leap in the world for ten years in winning the men’s long jump title. The 21-year-old’s 8.69m winning jump, an improvement of 37cm on his personal best, was witnessed trackside by world record-holder Mike Powell of the USA.
Gayle had a decisive win over Olympic champion Jeff Henderson (8.39m) and pre-event favourite Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba (8.34m).
US 100m champion Christian Coleman became world champion, using his brilliant start to decisive effect to subdue the fastest men in the world in the short sprint, equalling his personal best in 9.76 seconds.
He finished more than a metre clear of the field, as his 37-year-old compatriot and defending world champion Justin Gatlin took the silver medal in 9.89 seconds.
US hammer-thrower DeAnna Price won her event with a third-round throw of 77.54m, while the young mixed 4x400m relay team topped off a great night for the USA by setting the first world record in the heats of the new event.
Tyrell Richard, Jessica Beard, Jasmine Blocker and Obi Igbokwe combined to set a new benchmark of 3:12.42 and qualify fastest for Sunday’s final.