Gotytom Gebreslase won the women's world marathon title with a Championship record in Eugene ©Getty Images

 Gotytom Gebreslase matched the performance of fellow Ethiopian Tamirat Tola today as she won the women’s world marathon title in a Championship record of 2hr 18min 11sec.

Gebreslase, 27, who won the Berlin marathon last year in her debut at the distance, marked her Championship debut with a personal best time of 2:18:11 that bettered Paula Radcliffe of Britain’s mark of 2:20:57 at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships.

Her victory on Day Four of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 came after she had broken clear of Kenya’s long-time leader Judith Korir in the final two kilometres, with the latter, also making her first Championship appearance, clocking a personal best of 2:18:20.

A year after she had dropped out of bronze medal contention at the Tokyo 2020 marathon held in Sapporo, where she slumped to 66th after having to stop with cramps, Israel’s 33-year-old Lonah Salpeter was determined to make the global pedestal and she ensured that position after pulling clear of Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu after the two had run together for the last third of the race.

Salpeter clocked 2:20:18, with Weldu coming home in a national record of 2:20:29, followed by home runner Sara Hall, who finished in 2:22:10.

Gebreslase’s win came a day after Tola had broken away on a long run for home in the men’s marathon and won in 2:05:36, surpassing the Championship record of 2:06.54 set by Kenya’s Abel Kirui at the 2009 edition in Berlin.

Kenya’s defending champion Ruth Chepngetich had led a group of eight at a swift pace through to the 18km mark before making an unheralded departure with stomach problems.

That left her two relatively inexperienced fellow Kenyans, Korir and Angela Tanui, to combat the more heavily fancied Ethiopian trio of Gebreslase, Ababel Yeshaneh and Ashete Bekere.

As the lead group approached the end of the second of their three designated laps of the 14km course through Eugene and Springfield, with racing taking place in warm morning temperatures of around 14C, Korir – who won this year’s Paris marathon in 2:19:54 – accelerated away on a sustained push.

Only Gebreslase, who clocked a personal best of 2:18:18 at last year’s Tokyo marathon, went with Korir, and the two ran together until the final kilometre before the Ethiopian made her big and decisive move.

Hall was swiftly joined on the line by her two team-mates Emma Bates, who finished seventh in a personal best of 2:23:18, and the 37-year-old mother Keira D’Amato, who lowered the US record to 2:19:12 at the Houston marathon in January and was called into the team at three weeks’ notice after Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Molly Seidel had to withdraw with a hip injury.

D’Amato was eighth in 2:23:34.

The morning session at the Hayward Field arena was given over to the fifth and sixth events of the heptathlon and saw Belgium’s overnight leader, the double Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam, take one more big stride towards regaining the title she won in London five years ago only to be checked by a fightback from Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Anouk Vetter of The Netherlands.

Thiam, who led overnight on 4071 points from Vetter on 4010 and home heptathlete Anna Hall on 3991, maintained her momentum by producing the best long jump, 6.59 metres.

But  Vetter produced a personal best of 6.52m before moving on to the javelin, one of her strongest events - her father Ronald is a throws coach and her mother, Gerda Vetter-Blokziel, twice Dutch javelin champion.

While Thiam performed more than creditably there with a season's best of 53.01, Vetter excelled herself with an effort of 58.29m, close to her 2017 personal best of 59.81 en route to bronze at the London World Athletics Championships.

That sends the Dutch athlete into the evening session's concluding event, the 800 metres, with a 19-point lead over her Belgian rival, 6045 to 6026.

Thiam has a marginally better 800m personal best than Vetter - 2min 15.24sec, set at Gotzis in 2017 as opposed to 2:17:71 set at the Rio 2016 Games - and she will need to leverage all of that advantage to depose the Dutch athlete at the last.

The 19-point differential is worth about 1.36sec in the 800m.

It could go either way...