Displaying a flash from her sensational past, Pamela Jelimo continued her return from injury with a command performance to take the World indoor 800m title.
Breaking from the field with about 150 metres to go, the 2008 Olympic champion forged on to a formidable victory clocking 1:58.83, the fastest in the world this indoor season.
The 22-year-old Kenyan, who also cruised to the $1 million Golden League Jackpot in her breakout 2008 season, ran with confidence and race smarts from the outset, never farther back than third or fourth throughout most of the race.
"For me, I am happy," said Jelimo, whose gold is the first medal of any kind for Kenya in this event. "These last three years, with my injury, were a disaster for me. Injuries have a great impact on top athletes. But I did not give up and my coach motivated me a lot. It feels great to be a world champion, it is great to be at the top again."
As she did en route to her victories in Glasgow and the U.S. indoor championships, Erica Moore, took the lead from the break and brought the field through 400 metres in a brisk 57.69, with Russian champion Elena Kofanova, Ethiopian teenager Fantu Magiso and Jelimo following closely.
Jelimo moved into third with about 300 metres remaining and followed Kofanova through the bell, reached in 1:28.07. There was no catching the Kenyan once she made her decisive move midway through the penultimate backstraight, leaving the remainder of the race an all-out tussle for the remaining two medals.
Ukraine's Nataliya Lupu was the most inspired. Running in the middle of the track on the final turn, the 24-year-old flew into the final stretch tailing Moore, who like her, was running the race of her relatively short international career. Lupu moved even further to the outside and eventually passed the American, crossing the line in 1:59.67. Moore was next, dropping to the ground in exhaustion after her 1:59.97 clocking, like Lupu's also a personal best.
"My coach told me yesterday, I could expect a third or a fourth place," Lupu said. "Myself I was not so sure, because my opponents are very strong, and I knew my physical shape would only allow me to clock around two minutes, so that result is really unexpected."
"It was terrifying. I was scared on the home stretch but I held on," said Moore, a former 400m Hurdler and accomplished heptathlete. "I didn't think I had a chance to medal here, but after watching the video of the prelims I realised I was one of the strongest."
Magiso emerged from the scramble in fourth her 2:00.30 a personal best by more than two seconds.
Russians Kofanova and Yuliya Rusanova brought up the rear in 2:00.67 and 2:01.87, respectively. The latter, last year's European indoor bronze medallist, had an off day, never being in the hunt.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF