American Tyree Washington won both the mental and physical contests over Great Britain’s Daniel Caines with a 45.34 personal-best run, his first gold medal at the international level in a spasmodic five-year career.
Caines’s chase to the end produced a 45.43 clocking, also a personal best. The two clockings were the top two performances during this year’s indoor season.
The sweatband-clad Washington, running on Caines’ inside, ran with determination around the second curve to ensure the lead at the bell.
His one-metre lead over Caines did not seem to waver on the final backstretch, but the British athlete had not played all of his cards.
Coming off the backstretch, Caines put on a strong kick as Washington appeared to be tiring slightly, but the American would not denied the top prize as he struggled successfully to cross the line first.
Behind the top pair, Jamie Baulch was in a fight of his own against Paul McKee. The Irish runner ran in lane two on the final bend to pull even with Baulch, both runners ended up with identical 45.99 - a national record for the Irish runner - with bronze medals going to both runners after close scrutiny of the finish photo.
David McCarthy of Ireland (46.61) and Australian Daniel Batman (46.67) were assigned inside lanes and never were able to become part of the lead action.