Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser stunned race favourite Shaunae Miller-Uibo to take the women’s 400 metres world title on Thursday in the third fastest time ever run of 48.14 seconds.
The 21-year-old Nigeria-born sprinter – silver medallist in the 2017 final – was clear coming into the straight and though Miller-Uibo closed she had too much of a gap.
Only East Germany’s world record holder Marita Koch and Jarmila Kratochvilova of the former Czechoslovakia have run faster and both were over 30 years ago.
Miller-Uibo took silver with a time of 48.37sec whilst Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica was third (49.47).
Miller-Uibo – suffering her first defeat since finishing eighth in the 100m at the 2017 Diamond League meet in London – sat on the track draped in the Bahamas flag, her hair dyed in the national colours, shaking her head wistfully.
The slight of build Naser produced an astonishing burst of speed coming round the bend passing defending champion Phyllis Francis and leaving Miller-Uibo with a lot of ground to make up.
Naser did not falter even as Miller-Uibo ground down the gap between them but it was not even small enough for the 25-year-old to repeat her dive over the line that secured her the 2016 Olympic title.
The rest of the field were onlookers but Jackson added another world bronze to the one she won in 2015.