Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey won the 10,000 metres at the World Athletics Championships following a thrilling finish in Eugene ©Getty Images

Ethiopia’s world 10,000 metres world record holder Letesenbet Gidey earned a World Athletics Championships title to go with it in Eugene as she held off a top-class field that included Kenya’s double world 5,000m gold medallist Hellen Obiri and defending champion Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands to win in 30min 09.34sec.

In the second of the morning session finals on the second day of these Championships at Hayward Field normal service was resumed in the men’s hammer throw as Poland’s Pawel Fajdek won a record fifth consecutive title.

While the women’s 10,000m contained three superlative athletes there was an intriguing element of doubt given that none had given indication of being in peak form so far this season.

Obiri, 32, who finished fourth in last summer’s Olympic 10,000m but has been concentrating increasingly on road running, eventually took silver in a personal best of 30:10.02 after sticking doggedly at the front throughout, in company with Gidey and her Ethiopian team-mate Ejgayehu Taye, who eventually faded to sixth.

Bronze went to Obiri’s compatriot Margaret Kipkemboi in 30:10.07 and Hassan was fourth in 30:10.56.

The Dutch runner, who started the season late and has raced sparsely after being troubled with injury, remained off the lead but still in touch until the final bend, when it looked as if she was about to retain her title with another characteristic, blistering final sprint.

Her uncertain preparation became evident as she could not sustain her drive all the way down the straight and Gidey, who won world silver behind her in 2019 and bronze behind her in last year’s Olympics, gritted her teeth and drove for the line, despite betraying her anxiety as she turned frequently to check the state of her rivals.

As Hassan’s manager Jos Hermens had counselled before these Championships, his 29-year-old charge "is not a machine…she has needed time to recover from her super 2021 season."

Last year Gidey trumped Hassan’s world record of 29:06.82, set two days earlier, by running 29:01.03 on the same track in Hengelo; now, despite being well off her best form herself this season, she has beaten the Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete in a global track final.

Fajdek, 33, had to wait until last summer to earn his first Olympic medal - a bronze behind compatriot and champion Wojciech Nowicki - but when it comes to earning world golds it seems to be an almost inevitable process for him.

That said Fajdek had to work hard to stay ahead of Nowicki, who responded to the 80.58 metres he produced for a second-round lead by taking over with a third-round 81.03m.

Fajdek responded in turn with a third-round effort of 81.98m, the best seen this year.

Bronze went to Norway’s Elvind Henriksen with his best of 80.87m.

World and Olympic 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm, running his first race of the season after pulling up after one barrier with a hamstring problem at last month’s Rabat Diamond League meeting, started with all his old drive and, despite a couple of stutters, won with ease in 49.34sec to reach tomorrow’s semi-finals.

Warholm had reminded those who may have been doubting him that his first race last season had seen him run a world record, and while he was not about to better the mark of 45.94 he set in winning his Olympic title he looked assured from the start – although relieved at the end.

Asked what expectation he had at these Championships, where he is seeking a third consecutive title, he responded with characteristic sagacity: "I think that well done is better than well said - so we'll just have to wait and see I guess."

Home athlete Rai Benjamin, the world and Olympic silver medallist, won his opening heat as he pleased, closing down over the final 100m to clock 49.06.

Brazil’s 22-year-old Olympic bronze medallist Alison dos Santos, who beat Benjamin in the opening Diamond League of the season in Doha, looked ominously easy in winning in 49.41.

Defending 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway pleased a moderate home crowd as he qualified fastest for Monday’s final in 13.14, with the Jamaican who beat him to the Olympic title last year, Hansle Parchment, second fastest in 13.17.

Local hero Devon Allen, the former University of Oregon footballer who is due to take up a three-year contract with National Football League side Philadelphia Eagles later this year, has run 12.84 this season, putting him third on the all-time list, but he showed none of that alacrity as he won his heat in a relatively sedate 13.47.

Daniel Roberts, the United States 110m hurdles champion, was disqualified for the second successive time in a World Championship heat, this time after coming to grief over the seventh hurdle while leading and ending up entangled in hurdle nine.

France’s 30-year-old, injury-troubled but super-competitive European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde proceeded as a fastest loser after missing the first four automatic qualifying spots in his heat.

Venezuela’s Olympic and world women’s triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas qualified for the final on Monday (July 18) with an opening effort of 14.72m, with Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, world and European long jump silver medallist and this year’s world indoor triple jump silver medallist looked impressive as she won her group with 14.54m.

In the women’s high jump qualifying Ukraine’s 20-year-old world silver medallist and Olympic bronze medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh and her compatriot Iryna Gerashchenko advanced to Monday’s final on 1.93m.