An electric 100 meter victory by Usain Bolt and a historic third gold for U.S. long jumper Brittney Reese were mixed in with a spot of glory for home nation Russia in a breathless second day at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow.
Bolt was always going be the headliner and so it proved, the Jamaican surging across a rainsoaked blue track in 9.77 seconds to reclaim a world title he lost to a false start in 2009 and wrap a captivating day of action at Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
"I can't complain," Bolt said in typically self-effacing style. "It was a good run. I wanted to run faster but after the semifinals my leg didn't feel up to it. It felt a little bit sore."
In a thunderstorm that made the track slick with moisture, former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the United States claimed the silver in 9.85 seconds. Bronze went to Jamaica's Nesta Carter, who clocked in at 9.95 seconds.
In the long jump pit, Reese had made the final by the skin of her teeth in 12th and final place with a modest 6.57 meters, but the 26-year-old rallied to 7.01 meters to clinch the top prize.
"I thought that seven meters would get me a medal, I didn't know it was gonna get me the gold," said Reese, who also won gold in 2009 in Berlin and two years ago in Daegu, South Korea, an unprecedented achievement for a female long jumper.
Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare, the Beijing 2008 bronze medalist, clinched the silver medal after leaping 6.99 meters with her penultimate attempt. Serbia's Ivana Spanovic set a national record of 6.82 meters on her second-last effort to knock Bulgaria's Volha Sudarava out of the bronze-medal position.
More American glory came later as Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, who was beaten into silver two years ago by his fellow countryman Trey Hardee, put in a series of solid — if not spectacular — performances to go one better this time around.
"It feels good to win the title, it was the only thing that was left on my list to do and now that I've done everything it feels good," the Portland, Oregon, native said.
His winning total score of 8,809 was a fair distance short of his world record total of 9,039 set last year.
Breakthrough German decathlete Michael Schrader claimed the silver with 8,670 and Canada's Damian Warner the bronze with 8,512 — both personal bests.
Home dispair over the long jump flops of the 2011 silver medalist Olga Kucherenko, who finished fifth, Daria Klishina (seventh) and London 2012 silver medalist Yelena Sokolova (ninth), was turned around with a surprise gold medal for rookie race walker Alexander Ivanov.
The 20-year-old, who only has three years of experience as a race walker, broke away from London 2012 Olympic champion Chen Ding and silver medalist Erick Barrondo with 4km of the 20km distance remaining, holding the Chinese star off in a dramatic finish to win gold at his first world championships.
Ivanov was greeted with a loud roar as he entered Luzhniki Stadium for the final lap with a seven-second lead over Chen, extending it slightly to cross the line in a time of 1:20.58 and become the youngest walk gold medalist in championship history.
"I dreamed about this and worked hard to get here. But I can't realize now what I've done," Ivanov said.
Elsewhere, the London 2012 women's discus champion Sandra Perkovic completed her collection of Olympic, European and now world gold medals with a throw of 67.99 meters.
The 23-year-old took it with her second attempt in Sunday's final in heavy rain.
"I was a bit depressed because of the rain, but who cares — in the end I take the gold," she said. The silver went to veteran Melina Robert-Michon, who set a new French national record of 66.28 meters, and London Olympics and 2011 world bronze medalist Yarelis Barrios of Cuba could only manage 64.96 meters for bronze.
Ethiopia's Dirunesh Tibaba had the stamina to snatch the gold medal at in the women's 10,000 meter, also held in the pouring rain.
Tibaba won in a time of 30 minutes 43.35 seconds, more than a minute off the world record. The silver medal was won by Kenya's Gladys Cherono, who finished 1.81 seconds behind Tibaba, with the bronze going to Belaynesh Oljira also of Ethiopia.
Six sets of medals are on offer on Monday: The men's pole vault, the women's shot put, the men's hammer throw, the women's 400 meter, the men's 110 meter-hurdles and the women's 100 meter.