Jamaican sprinters lauding it over waning powerhouses the United States was evident again in the Luzhniki stadium on Monday, the twinkle-toed Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce powering to her own treble.
Like Bolt and Fraser-Pryce, an ever-smiling Mo Farah shone bright. The Briton confirmed his place among the long-distance greats by brilliantly repeating his Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 double.
Farah took 10,000 gold on the opening night and made light of a stitch during the 5,000 final six days later with another supreme final lap.
Russia topped the United States in the medals table, by seven golds to six, helped by strong performances in the field events and walks.
Popular drama queen Yelena Isinbayeva was roared to victory by an ecstatic crowd in the pole vault, taking an emotional third world title after a difficult season then announcing she planned to return to action in the future once she has had a baby. However, she suffered a backlash for her subsequent anti-gay comments, convincing nobody when she said later she had been misunderstood.
The colourful Fraser-Pryce, half her long hair dyed pink, also led her rivals a merry dance,
Her scintillating 100 metres triumph, sealed from the moment she powered out of the blocks, was followed up with another virtuoso display in a 200 final that left three-time champion Felix prone and in tears after the American tore her hamstring in the first 30 metres.
New stars emerged in the shape of American Brianna Rollins and Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon. Rollins, 22 on Sunday, belied her inexperience to dethrone Sally Pearson while in the men’s one-lap event, Gordon, 21, pipped a tiring Michael Tinsley by one hundredth of a second to confirm the promise that made him world junior champion. Of the Olympic champions to flop, Kirani James was surprising.
Defending world and Olympic champion James trailed home seventh in a 400 metres final won easily by LaShawn Merritt.
The Ukrainians also celebrated Bohdan Bondarenko’s impressive high-jump victory, while women’s long jumper American Britney Reese landed a third successive world title.