Photos by Getty Images courtesy of IAAF
21-year-old Bahraini Salwa Eid Naser ran to victory in the 400m in the astonishing time of 48.14 seconds, the fastest time in the world for 34 years and the third-fastest in history, to defeat the prohibitive pre-race favourite Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
Undefeated at any distance for the past two years, the tall Bahamian also ran her personal best time of 48.37 but on this night it was not enough.
Naser attacked the first 200m with what seemed like reckless intent, storming past Miller-Uibo before they entered the home straight. Such exceptional early pace would normally cost an athlete dearly on the run home, but Naser held her form and repelled Miller-Uibo’s valiant effort to close the gap in the final metres.
Naser was clearly stunned to take almost a second from her previous best time (49.08).
“I didn’t want to chase because I’m so used to chasing all the time, so I had to go out fast, and I just kept going,” she said.
“To cross the line and see that I am world champion in that amazing time, I just couldn’t believe it.”
An injury to defending champion Kevin Mayer opened up the field in the decathlon, paving the way for Germany's Niklas Kaul to become the youngest ever world champion in the event.
Kaul set a pole vault personal best of 5.00m, then went to the javelin runway and launched the spear an enormous 79.05m (a championship decathlon record) which put him within striking distance in third place, and allowed him to take advantage of his superior running in the final 1500m event to record 8691 points.
Cedric Dubler finished in 11th in 8101 points, the highest decathlon placing by an Australian in a global event since the 1956 Olympic Games.
Long-standing champion-in-waiting Katarina Johnson-Thompson ascended the heptathlon throne with the largest winning margin at the world championships since 1987, with a personal best score of 6981 to break the Jessica Ennis's British record.
Olympic and world champion Nafi Thiam had not lost a combined events competition for more than three years before tonight but the Briton Johnson-Thompson has been edging closer with every competition and she finally struck in Doha.
She opened with a personal best in the 100m hurdles yesterday (13.09) and kept the pressure on the defending champion throughout the competition, setting four personal bests in the seven events.
China’s Gong Lijiao successfully defending her world title in the shot put. Gong was less than her best but still good enough to win with a best throw of 19.55m.
Crowded heats of 15 in the men's 1500m saw jostling, with Australia's Matthew Ramsden a casualty. The 22-year-old fell in the early stages of his heat, to finish 13th in 3:47.59, but progressed to the semi-finals after a protest, joining compatriot Stewart McSweyn.