Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman may have tactically got his race wrong 12 months ago at the London 2012 Olympic Games but his race plan worked perfectly at the IAAF World Championships and he was able to add this title to the 2012 World Indoor Championships gold medal, covering two laps of the track in the Luzhniki Stadium in 1:43.31.
It was the third-fastest time in World Championships history in a final that proved to be a thriller, despite the absence of all three 2012 Olympic Games medallists.
In familiar fashion, US champion Duane Solomon hit the front as the field broke for the inside after 150m, and he had Aman on his outside shoulder for the first lap, which was covered in a sizzling 50.28.
Down the back straight on the second lap, Aman dropped to the inside and briefly found himself boxed as Solomon continued to drive the pace from the front.
However, fortune smiled on Aman as daylight appeared when several runners, not least France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, started to wilt and drifted backwards, and he was able to carefully edge his way into an attacking position.
Solomon held the lead all the way through to 700m, with Aman running breast-to-breast in lane two and another US runner, Nick Symmonds, just inches in arrears and out in lane three.
With 100m to go, Solomon suddenly started to weaken and the race was lost from his perspective as Aman and Symmonds battled fiercely for the gold down the home straight, a duel which was won by the Ethiopian teenager.
Aman is still a junior and became the youngest man ever to win this event at a World Championships. Into the bargain, he got his country’s first place on the podium over 800m despite his country’s prolific success at longer distances. It was also Ethiopia's first World Championships gold medal in an event shorter than 5000m.
Symmonds was second in a season’s best of 1:43.55 while Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman emerged from the pack contesting the bronze medal 20 metres from the line to cross the line third in 1:43.76, the East African country’s first World Championships medal since Ahmed Salah’s brace of Marathon silvers in 1987 and 1991.
It was the best World Championships 800m for depth with all three medallists under 1:44, which had only happened once before in 1987, and an unprecedented seven men under 1:45.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF