On a night when Ashton Eaton of the United States beat his own world decathlon record with a score of 9,045 points, and Britain’s Mo Farah collected a seventh consecutive global title, Usain Bolt secured an 11th World Athletics Championships gold by anchoring Jamaica to victory in the men’s 4x100 metres relay.
But the fervour at the end of the night here was for the historic achievement of the Chinese team in winning a bronze medal that swiftly turned to silver as it was announced that the US team – who were already parading a little soberly with their Stars and Stripes flags - had been disqualified for the final baton exchange between Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers.
Their faces fell as renewed jubilation rose all around them, and they began folding up their flags.
At the end of a crushing Championships, this was a final humiliation for US men’s sprinting - and, incredibly, their fourth failure in six attempts to get the baton round legally in a world final.
“It is called pressure,” Bolt commented.
“They won the World Relays and the pressure was on them.”
For the home fans, who went crazy over Su Bingtian’s achievement in reaching the individual 100m final - where he finished a feted last - this was success at an unimaginable level.
Again tonight, chanting and singing gave evidence of the Beijing crowd’s love for a boy named Su.
“Today is my birthday and I was moved when everybody was singing ‘Happy Birthday’ for me,” said Su.
“This is a historic medal for us.”
Thus, in the Stadium where he helped establish Jamaica’s superiority over the United States in men’s world sprinting at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Bolt maintained the status quo as he crossed in a season’s best time of 37.36sec, with China clocking 38.01 and Canada moving up for bronze in 38.13.
Britain’s chances of a medal foundered also at the final changeover, which James Ellington and anchor leg Chijindu Ujah failed to negotiate.
At the last World Championships, in Moscow two years ago, a similar mix-up between Ellington and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey saw Britain lose a bronze on appeal.
So seven years on, despite all the excited talk around Justin Gatlin over the last two seasons, Jamaica still rules the world of men’s sprints and, as Bolt himself likes to say, there is only “one Don".
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, legs fresh after her decision only to defend the shorter individual sprint here, replicated that achievement in the women’s sprints as she anchored Jamaica’s 4x100m team to victory in a Championship record of 41.07, ahead of the United States in 41.68 and Trinidad and Tobago, who ran a national record of 42.03 to deprive Britain - who also clocked a national record of 42.10, of a place on the podium.
On a steamy night in the Chinese capital, Eaton entered the last of his 10 challenges with a virtually unassailable 256 points lead over Canada’s Damian Warner.
The key statistic for him was to complete the metric mile inside 4min 18.25sec in order to better the mark of 9,039 points he set in Eugene in 2012.
After straining to mount a sprint challenge to the race winner Larbi Bourrada of Algeria all the way down the straight, the American dropped over the line like a tranquillised lion.
Flat on his back, he heard that his time was 4:17.52, acknowledging the good news with a weary wave of his paw.
Is there a way to stop Farah winning global titles?
Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku did all he knew to find out here tonight as he attempted to get rid of Britain’s defending champion on the penultimate day of the Championships by jump-starting a slow motion men’s 5,000m final and making a long drive from home a lap-and-a-half out.
Bold, but doomed.
Ndiku could never quite rid himself of the dogged little figure behind, who was himself tracked by the Ethiopian pair of Hagos Gebrhiwet and their prodigious 18-year-old world junior champion Yomif Kejelcha, who leads this year’s world lists with 12:58.39.
And as the Kenyan entered the straight, sure as eggs, out came Farah into lane two to pass him before crossing in 13:50.38 to claim his third consecutive world 5,000m title.
The time was supremely unimportant; not so the manner of victory.
How much longer can Farah’s golden run go on?
Next up, a defence of his Olympic titles in Rio de Janeiro.
“Tonight I had to dig it deep,as you can see it cane down to the last 100m,” he said.
“It’s difficult as everybody has got great speed and there are a lot of guys who are capable of winning.
"They went for it.”
Ndiku concurred with that: “I knew that Farah is like the 100m runner in the finish, so my plan to kill him was to push him a bit earlier.”
The reward for his boldness was silver in 13:51.75, with Gebrhiwet, in 13:51.86, winning the Ethiopian race for bronze and the tall, upright figure of Kejelcha missing out on the podium with 13:52.43.
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