Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim sent a raucous home crowd into raptures with a stunning gold in the men's high jump at the World Athletics Championships.
Empty stands often dogged the IAAF's showpiece event but the masses flocked to Doha's Khalifa International Stadium on Friday and Barshim did not disappoint, taking the title by clearing 2.37 metres on his first attempt.
It was a record-breaking evening for Dalilah Muhammad, who pipped her United States team-mate Sydney McLaughlin in a coruscating women's 400m hurdles final, although their compatriot Fred Kerley had to settle for bronze in the men 400m final as Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas claimed a stunning victory.
Conseslus Kipruto continued Kenyan dominance in the men's 3000m steeplechase by the barest of margins – pipping Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma on the line, while Yaime Perez and Denia Caballero made it a Cuba one-two in the women's discuss.
FROM INJURY WOE TO NATIONAL HERO - BARSHIM REVELS IN DOHA GLORY
World champion in 2017, Barshim only returned to action in June having spent almost a year on the sidelines following ankle surgery.
But he brought his best form to delight an adoring public and top the podium in a thrilling high-jump competition.
Barshim only erred at 2.33m, claiming a dramatic season's best at the third attempt, before sailing over 2.35m and 2.37m.
Neutral athletes Mikhail Akimenko and Ilya Ivanyuk could not do likewise and a remarkable comeback was complete.
MUHAMMAD BREAKS RECORD AGAIN
Muhammad stormed to her second world-record run of the season to claim gold in the 400m hurdles.
The Olympic champion broke Yuliya Pechonkina's record, which stood for almost 16 years, when she won at the US Track and Field Championships in July, clocking 52.20 seconds.
She became the first track athlete to set an all-time best in an individual race at the championship in Doha on Friday, clocking a blistering 52.16 secs.
As expected, Muhammad was pushed all the way by McLaughlin, whose brilliant personal best of 52.23 made her the second-fastest woman in the history of the event – having chased relentlessly from a draw two lanes inside the world champion.
Jamaica's Rushell Clayton took the bronze.
GARDINER CUTS DOWN ALL-STAR FIELD
Michael Norman's shock semi-final elimination left fellow American Kerley as the favourite for men's 400m gold but Gardiner had other ideas as he sensationally streaked clear of the field to clock 43.48 – placing him sixth on the all-time list.
Kerley managed to hold on to third as he faded in the home straight, with Anthony Jose Zambrano of Colombia claiming silver.
Former Olympic and world champion Kirani James came in fifth following his inspirational return from Graves disease, but Gardiner's gold crowned a similar story of human triumph – fundraising efforts having helped to make it possible for a Bahaman team to attend the World Championships following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian upon the Caribbean island.
Gardiner's victory by more than half a second stood in stark contrast to the conclusion of the steeplechase, where Olympic champion Kipruto ran down Girma off the final barrier to make it back-to-back world titles by 0.01 seconds.
The Ethiopian had the consolation of setting a new national record, with Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali left behind to collect bronze.
CUBAN REVOLUTIONS DETHRONE PERKOVIC AS RELAY STARS SET THE STAGE
Croatia's Sandra Perkovic will know how Kipruto and Barshim feel, having retained her world title in London two years ago.
She could not make it three in a row as Perez came out on top in a ding-dong battle with Caballero – a fifth-round 69.17m seeing off her team-mate.
Defending champions Great Britain qualified fastest for the men's 4x100m relay final, with the United States just edging through despite an error-strewn run. Jamaica and Canada were not so lucky.
Jamaica, Britain, China and USA look set to vie for the medals in a strong women's field, although Germany – the fastest team in the world this year – failed to make the cut.
Favourite Timothy Cheruiyot won his 1500m semi-final in a time of 3:36.53.