Saif Saaeed Shaheen needed to complete the 3000m Steeplechase in 7:54.49 to overtake Hicham El Guerrouj in the IAAF World Rankings and earn Athlete of the Year honours.
The neo-Qatari was close but failed to break that barrier despite running a World Leading time of 7:57.38 (a new Asian record also) to snatch victory in this race from Kenya's Paul Koech after running a last lap of just 60 seconds (unofficial timing).
After being taken through 1000 metres by Mipkirui Misoi in 2:38.31, Shaheen took the lead and paced the field through 2000m in 5:19.81. Then it was Koech's turn to make the running and he held a lead of ten metres or so in front of Shaheen right to the final water jump, with the rest of the field falling away behind.
Then as they came to the final hurdle, Shaheen accelerated smoothly and pulled in front of Koech who was unable to withstand this final kick for the line and trailed Shaheen across the line in 7:57.42. Third place went to Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya in 8:11.79.