Moscow: Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt lifted track and field out of the doping doldrums as he reclaimed his world 100m title in emphatic style yesterday.
Bolt clocked a season's best 9.77 seconds in heavy rain at the Luzhniki Stadium, with American Justin Gatlin claiming silver in 9.85sec and Nesta Carter, also of Jamaica, taking bronze in 9.95sec.
Athletics' credibility had again been called to account in recent weeks, notably after American sprint rival Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell tested positive for drugs.
Once again it was Bolt, the powerfully-built 26-year-old world record holder in both the 100 and 200m, who came to the rescue, at least in the short term.
The sole blot on the Jamaican's copybook since winning treble gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was a false start two years ago in the Daegu worlds that saw now-injured teammate Yohan Blake take the blue riband title.
The race itself was "classic" Bolt in front of a Luzhniki Stadium that was far from being a sell-out in stormy weather.
Modestly, but safely, out of the blocks, Bolt's head and shoulders remained low as he drove into the opening metres. While his reaction time might have been slower than all but one other in the field, he soon reeled in the opposition.
Come the 50 metre mark and Bolt pushed his huge frame through his renowned transition phase, head coming up and long legs pumping, teeth gritted and eyes on the big screen beyond the finish line. The race didn't even last 10 seconds but the gold saw Bolt also move within touching distance of equalling American sprint legend Carl Lewis' record of eight world gold medals.
Ashton Eaton of the United States added the world decathlon title to his Olympic crown in a dominant display. Eaton, who won silver in Daegu two years ago, finished the gruelling two-day 10-discipline event with 8,809 points.
Germany's Michael Schrader took silver (8,670), with Damian Warner of Canada claiming bronze (8,512).
Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba produced an effortless masterclass in middle-distance running to win a third world 10,000m title at the World Athletics Championships yesterday.
Dibaba clocked 30min 43.37sec, with Gladys Cherono of Kenya taking silver (30:45.17), and Ethiopia's Belaynesh Oljira claiming bronze (30:46.98).
The 27-year-old missed the Daegu worlds in 2011 because of injury but has never lost in her 10 outings over 25 laps of the track.
Four world golds (5,000m in 2003 and 2005, 10,000m in 2005 and 2007), three Olympic golds (the double in 2008 and 10,000m gold in 2012) as well as two 5,000m Olympic bronzes (2004 and 2012) is testimony to her dominance.
America's Olympic champion Brittney Reese maintained her firm grip on the women's long jump when she won her third successive world outdoor title.
The 26-year-old posted a best jump of 7.01 metres to take gold, while Nigerian Blessing Okagbare won silver (6.99m) and Serbia's Ivana Spanovic the bronze in a new national record of 6.82m.
Meanwhile, Aleksandr Ivanov gave hosts Russia their first gold of the world championships and the country's third successive title in the 20 kilometres walk.