Aleksandr Prokhorov had to win a sprint finish over the final lap of the 10,000 metres walk and establish a championship record 42min 16.16sec to see off the challenges of Makato Sawada, from Japan, and his Russian team mate, Vyacheslav Golovin.
All three reached the bell together after being presented with the lead on the disqualification of long-time leader Eder Sanchez, from Mexico, with five laps remaining.
Sanchez had injected some serious pace into the race in the sixth and seventh kilometres (both covered in 4:03), and opening up a substantial lead on Prokhorov and the rest.
But the Mexican soon paid the penalty when he received his third and final judge’s card.
There was no respite for Prokhorov over the final laps, and it took a last kilometre to be covered in less than four minutes for the Russian to claim gold, ahead of Sawada’s PB of 42:17.62 and Golovin’s 42:37.15.