Wayde van Niekerk was the big winner on Day 5 at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing as he triumphed in the men's 400-metre run final. Meanwhile, Usain Bolt of Jamaica booked his place in the final of the men's 200 metres alongside the United States' Justin Gatlin with accomplished displays in their respective semi-finals.
South Africa's Van Niekerk surged to a stunning win over the one-lap distance in the final event of Wednesday's jam-packed schedule, while earlier on, Julius Yego of Kenya won gold in the men's javelin with a historic showing.
In the women's events, golds went to Zuzana Hejnova of Czech Republic, Hyvin Jepkemoi of Kenya and Yarisley Silva of Cuba, who won enthralling battles in the 400-metre hurdles, 3,000-metre steeplechase and pole vault, respectively.
Here's a look back at the best of the action from another absorbing day in Beijing.
|Wednesday Medal Winners|
|Women's Pole Vault||Yarisley Silva (CUB)||Fabiana Murer (BRA)||Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou (GRE)|
|Men's Javelin Throw||Julius Yego (KEN)||Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed (EGY)||Tero Pitkamaki (FIN)|
|Women's 400m Hurdles||Zuzana Hejnova (CZE)||Shamier Little (USA)||Cassandra Tate (USA)|
|Women's 3000m Steeplechase||Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi (KEN)||Habiba Ghribi (TUN)||Gesa Felicitas Krause (GER)|
|Men's 400m||Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)||LaShawn Merritt (USA)||Kirani James (GRN)|
|2||Great Britain & N.I.||3||0||0||3|
Van Niekerk Storms to 400-Metres Glory
The 400 metres carries a degree of prestige, and when you saw the names that were in this final on Wednesday, this was set to be one of the standout races of the championships. But few would have predicted Van Niekerk would have taken gold ahead of LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James, who were second and third, respectively.
The South African ran a remarkable time of 43.48 seconds to take the win, and the standard of running in the final was unprecedentedly fast, as noted here by BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce:
It was a hugely difficult race that was contested at a punishing pace. As we can see here, courtesy of SPIKES, the winner had to be stretchered off the track afterwards due to his exhaustion:
High standards were set throughout the day, though. In the men's javelin, Yego produced an incredible performance to take gold, securing a distance of 92.72 metres. As noted by BBC Sport, the Kenyan pulled out the third-longest throw in history to take the title. Here's a look at it, per Eurosport:
Yego, who famously taught himself how to throw javelin via YouTube, spoke of his delight in the aftermath, per BBC Sport:
It was unbelievable, I am happy I won a gold medal for Kenya. I have been training hard for this championships. After Birmingham I had a serious injury and thought I would not be competing so to throw big like this is unbelievable.
Very few athletes have done what I have done. There will not be another YouTube athlete coming through. I want to go back and watch my throw, it was almost perfect.
It was a win that broke more new ground for Kenya as well. After Nicholas Bett's win in the 400-metre hurdles Tuesday, the nation's first-ever win in a world championship distance less than 800 metres, this was their first-ever medal in a nontrack event at the competition.
The most exciting race on the track all evening came in the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase, which was eventually won by another Kenyan, Jepkemoi. She was tracked all the way by Habiba Ghribi and Gesa Felicitas Krause, but she just managed to sneak in front after seven-and-a-half punishing laps of the Beijing track.
Kenya Deputy President William Samoei Ruto paid tribute to yet another winning performance from an athlete from the African country:
Elsewhere, Bolt and Gatlin were easy winners in their respective 200-metre semi-finals, and they'll be joined in Thursday's final by Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes, who produced an exceptional showing to win the first semi.
In the women's event, which began with the heats, no Allyson Felix means the field is wide open. Then, one of the main competitors for the gold, Veronica Campbell-Brown, looked set for an imminent disqualification after drifting into the outside lane.
As we can see here, courtesy of NBC's Nick Zaccardi, it was a pretty remarkable infraction:
But quite remarkably, even though the Jamaican athlete clearly hindered the performance of Britain's Margaret Adeoye behind her, she was not disqualified. That's because, as noted by Quentin Hull of ABC, Campbell-Brown actually ended up running further, did not jostle anyone and, as such, was not subject to any "material advantage being gained."
After another bewitching day from Beijing, all eyes will now turn to Thursday's 200-metre battle between Bolt and Gatlin. The former is chasing his 10th world title in total, while the American will be seeking revenge for his narrow loss to Bolt in the final of the 100 metres earlier in the championships.