Paul Pollock has recorded the best ever position achieved by an Irish athlete in a World Athletics Championships men’s marathon.
The Belfast doctor, based at Royal Victoria Hospital, deliberately started slowly, leaving the Luzhniki Stadium 70th and last of the entire field.
Pollock remained low down around 60th place for the first 15 kilometres, before surging up the field.
The Annadale Strider was 53rd after 20k, 40th at 25k, 33rd at 30k, 27th at 35k.
Entering the stadium in 21st place, Pollock’s time of 2 hours 16 minutes 42 seconds, surpassed the 25th spot of Kingston Mills in 1987.
Pollock admits his status among the Europeans caught him by surprise: “I didn’t realise that until I saw the results at the end.
“I had been hoping to be top 20 at least, but 21st? I can’t complain about that. It was a great race, I felt strong throughout and felt that as I was going through the pack.
“It all bodes well for future races and future marathons.
“The plan was to go out to slow, I think I was the last out of the stadium and the plan was to sit back and then kick on from 30k.
“It was great, no-one passed me by the whole race. It was perfect I think, very happy with the pacing for that.”
Meanwhile, Cahir-based Clonliffe Harriers athlete Sergiu Ciobanu was 48th in 2:34:17.
Usain Bolt completed his expected sprint double, mirroring his achievement in Beijing, Berlin and London, by adding the 200m crown to his 100m title earned last weekend.
Bolt ran a world-leading 19.66 and was largely untroubled, with compatriot Warren Weir second in a personal best 19.79, American Curtis Mitchell third in 20.04 and new British sensation Adam Gemili fifth in 20.08.
There was a shock in the women’s 100m hurdles as defending champion Sally Pearson was edged down into second by American Brianna Rollins. Pearson in 12.50, her joint season’s best after running the same time in her semi-final, could not pass Rollins who won in 12.44.
Russia claimed two golds a dramatic 4x400m relay sprint win over the United States, with Svetlana Shklina finishing top of the pile in the women’s high jump with a mark of 2.03m.
American Brigetta Barrett was second, with a joint bronze for Spain’s European champion Ruth Beitia and Russian Anna Chicherova.
Meserat Defar of Ethiopia was crowned 5000m world champion for the second time after being first enthroned in Osaka, while Viteslav Vesely of the Czech Republic edged out Finn Tero Pitkamaki in the men's javelin