Javelin winner Julius Yego at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Beijing, China

Five big moments from day five – IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015

Wednesday evening's competition at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 featured a few more Kenyan medals, expected or not, two superlative field event competitions, some victorious favourites, and some new champions. Here are our five moments of the evening.

Yego's big throw

It was easy to want a good competition for Julius Yego after his heart-breaking fourth place in Moscow two years ago, but nobody truly expected what did happen. After a foul and a credible 82.42m throw, framed by an 88.99m mark from Ihab Abdelrahman in the second round, Yego's third attempt sailed more than three metres beyond Abdelrahman's mark into territory only two other javelin throwers have seen before.

The spear was well beyond the 90-metre line, and when the mark came up as 92.72m, the stands went wild. Yego's throw made him the third-longest thrower ever with the current implement, and was the world’s best throw in 14 years.

 

Julius Yego after winning the javelin at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Julius Yego after winning the javelin at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

With Kenya's lengthy list of successes so far this championships, by far the most impressive ones have been, like Yego's, in events which haven't previously been Kenya's domain.

Van Niekerk's stretch run

It was LaShawn Merritt who tore out of the blocks fast in the 400m, but it was Wayde van Niekerk who overhauled Merritt on the second bend and then ran away from him down the homestretch. When Van Niekerk crossed the line in 43.48, it was a PB by nearly half a second, made him the second-fastest single-lapper in World Championships history, and the fourth-fastest all time.

 

Wayde van Niekerk wins the 400m at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Wayde van Niekerk wins the 400m at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

Merritt ran a PB of 43.65. Olympic champion Kirani James, third in 43.78, made it the first 400m with three athletes running sub-44. And in fourth, Luguelin Santos ran a Dominican record of 44.11. In short, it was one of the fastest mass finishes in 400m history.

Murer Silver, Silva gold

When the women's pole vault bar reached 4.90m and the field had been thinned to three active vaulters, two attempts went by for all three without a clearance, and one of them, Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou, was eliminated due to having passed to that height with a miss already on her record.

 

World pole vault champion Yarisley Silva at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)World pole vault champion Yarisley Silva at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

Then Yarisley Silva of Cuba cleared on her third attempt, and the pressure went on 2011 champion Fabiana Murer. Murer couldn't respond, and Silva, who hadn't had a share of the lead since taking three attempts to clear 4.70m, abruptly had the gold.

Steeple comes down to homestretch

The women's 3000m steeplechase has generally been an event won in a rout, with the winner apparent long before the final kilometre. But tonight it was a mad scramble for the finish on the straight, far more like the men's race and even tighter.

Won by a Kenyan, of course – in this case Hyvin Jepkemoi in 9:19.11 – three more athletes were across the line within a second, including Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi in 9:19.24, Germany's Gesa Felicitas Krause in 9:19.25, and then Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa in 9:20.01.

 

Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi wins the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi wins the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

It wasn't the fastest steeplechase final ever but it may have been one of the most competitive, and like many events in this championships, it was marked by several athletes from a variety of countries competitive in the last stages.

Hejnova defends, Little comes back

Given the strong performances from defending champion Zuzana Hejnova through the women's 400m hurdles rounds, it was no surprise to see her powering away from the final on the homestretch to win in a world-leading 53.50.

 

Zuzana Hejnova on her way to winning the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Zuzana Hejnova on her way to winning the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

Given the qualifying performances of world junior champion Shamier Little, who squeaked through both rounds on time, it was something of a surprise to see the US champion showing her early-season confidence again to pick up silver in 53.94.

Parker Morse for the IAAF