Only Florence Griffith-Joyner and Marion Jones have run faster
Dafne Schippers ran the fourth fastest 200m in history, setting championship and European records as she took gold ahead of Jamaicans Elaine Thompson and Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Dina Asher-Smith set a British record to run the fastest ever fifth placed finish in World Championships history with 22.07 – a time which would have won her the gold medal in nine of the previous finals.
Schippers’ time of 21.63 makes her the third fastest 200m runner in history behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner and Marion Jones.
The Dutch runner, who took silver in the 100m behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, was behind her competitors entering the final bend, but she powered through in the final metres to dip Thompson on the line and clock a faster time than Marita Koch and Heike Dreschler.
Both Thompson and Campbell-Brown ran sub-22 races, clocking 21.66 and 21.97 respectively, with Campbell-Brown just nudging America’s Candyca McGrone out of the medals, running 22.01.
“I am absolutely over the moon,” said Asher-Smith. “I’ve run three PBs and ended in 22.07 which is a British record so I’m a really, really happy girl.”
Over in the field and Tianna Bartoletta produced a dramatic world leading leap of 7.14m to steal gold from under Shara Proctor’s nose with her final effort of the competition.
Proctor became the first ever British female to jump seven metres as she achieved the feat twice, but Bartoletta’s final jump secured a second world title – 10 years after her first.
The Anguillan-born jumper admitted pre-competition that she felt she had seven metres in her for the first time, and she did twice as she produced a lifetime best of 7.07m with her third effort, and followed it up with a 7.01m, taking silver ahead of Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic.
Proctor said: “I’m numb right now, I don’t know what to feel. I am speechless. But I’m happy most of all. It’s my fifth champs and I finally did it – I got on the podium.”
Lorraine Ugen joined Proctor in the top eight as she finished fifth with 6.85m, but Katarina Johnson-Thompson struggled on the runway for a second time in this championships with two tentative efforts of 6.63m in her first three jumps failing to see her secure another set of three jumps.
The women’s 100m hurdles threw up a surprise with Danielle Williams of Jamaica winning gold in 12.57 ahead of Germany’s Cindy Roleder and Alina Talay of Belarus.
Britain’s Tiffany Porter looked on course to claim a fourth gold for Britain heading into the final two hurdles, but sideways momentum took her out of her stride, and eventually finished fifth in a time of 12.68 behind defending champion Brianna Rollins in fourth – just 0.02 seconds behind Talay in bronze.
The USA’s sub-par championships continued in the hurdles semis as first Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion in Beijing, crashed out at the second barrier and then Kendra Harrison false started in consecutive races, and continued with Rollins and Sharika Nelvis failing to capitalise on their favourite tags in the final.
Williams set a personal best of 12.58 to qualify first ahead of Nelvis in 12.59 in the first semi before Porter coasted to a win in her semi in 12.62 ahead of Roleder who ran a personal best of 12.79.
The other British interest, Porter’s younger sister Cindy Ofili, was unable to replicate her sister’s performance in the semis as she finished sixth in the first race in a time of 12.91.
Britain’s Goldie Sayers was unable to progress through to the javelin final after failing to reach the 63.50m qualifying mark.
The two-time Olympian came into Beijing with just two competitions under her belt this season, and with a heavily strapped right knee, she was only able to throw out to 58.28, well below both the qualifying distance and her season’s best of 62.09m from the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
» See the September 3 edition of AW magazine for coverage of the final five days of World Championships action, while the August 27 edition includes reports, results, news, stats and more from the first four days