The female elite battle it out in the 4x400m relay
Sunday 2 September, 9.20pm
Well, that's all folks. The Championships concluded with some memorable performances, not least from Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoru, Lee McConnell and Nicola Sanders, who won bronze in the 4x400m relay, setting a new British record of 3:20.04 in the process. Both 4x400m relays were won with ease by the USA, confirming their overall dominance in the relays after their double 4x100m success on Saturday night.
Britain's Mara Yamauchi finished a creditable ninth in the women's marathon this morning with a time of 2:32.55. The Oxford-born athlete, who now resides in Tokyo, actually led the race at 30km, but she was cut adrift from the leading pack of eight in the closing stages. Tracey Morris came in 19th with a season's best 2:36.40. Thousands of supporters lined the route in this marathon-mad country, and home fans were well rewarded with Reika Tosa finishing third to secure Japan's first and only medal of the Championships.
America's Bernard Lagat added the 5000m crown to the 1500m gold he won earlier in the week, outpacing Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge with a powerful sprint finish. He is the first athlete to win the both titles in Championships history. Britain's Mo Farah led at the bell but didn't have the kick of his rivals, eventually finishing 6th. Many commentators' pre-race favourite, Craig Mottram from Australia, looked out of sorts over the last two laps and finished a disappointing 13th.
The men's 800m final provided surely one of the closest 800m finishes of all time. Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya nicked it on the line from Canada's Gary Reed, winning gold by just one-tenth of a second in 1: 47.09. All eight finalists finished within less than half of a second of each other.
As for Britain's overall performance, tonight's women's 4x400m bronze, added to the bronze our men's sprint relay team won last night, means that we collected five medals (three in individual events) in total, putting us 10th in the medals table. We fare slightly better in the placings table - 13 top-eight places putting us sixth.
The plaudits will rightly go to our medalists, but notable mentions should also go to Jo Pavey, who just missed out, finishing fourth in the women's 10,000m, and Jessica Ennis, pipped to bronze by teammate Kelly Sotherton in the heptathlon. Her time will surely come. On the down side, both Chris Tomlinson and Goldie Sayers, in the men's long jump and women's javelin respectively, will be disappointed not to have made it into their finals, while Phillips Idowu was a pre-event medal hope, but didn't really look sharp after his recent injury problems.
All in all, it was a pretty decent showing, and pretty much dead on what Dave Collins, UK Athletics performance director, had demanded. There's still more work to do of course, but when you compare the haul to the single medal we won in Helsinki two years ago, you'd like to think a corner has been turned. Let's hope for even better when the Championships return, in Berlin, in two years' time. Arigato for reading!
Sunday 2 September, 6.30pm
World Championships awards
With just the final evening of competition left, it seems like an appropriate time to look back on what have been a thoroughly enjoying and engrossing Championships, and hand out a few awards for the good, the bad, and the mildly amusing goings on here in Osaka over the past nine days.
Athlete of the Championships
Has to be America's Tyson Gay. Three events entered, three gold medals. Enough said.
The dealing with pressure award
This one goes to long jumper Irving Saladino from Panama. Trailing Italy's Andrew Howe with just one, final jump remaining, Saladino was forced to wait for the women's 400m hurdles final medal ceremony before taking to the runway. Added into the pressure cooker was the fact he had fouled his previous two jumps. But he flew to a personal best 8.57m to win at the death, becoming his country's first-ever gold medallist in the men's long jump.
The best in-and-out job
Last Tuesday night the American 110m hurdler David Payne was watching the Championships at home, having failed to qualify for the American team. But when Dominique Arnold had to pull out of the event through injury, Payne was told to jump on the next flight to Osaka. Three days later he had a bronze medal round his neck, having run a personal best of 13.02 seconds when it really mattered.
The golden oldie award
An honourable mention must go to Mozambique's Maria Mutola, 34, who might have won a medal in the women's 800m but for a leg injury forcing her withdrawal in the final straight. Then there’s our own Tracey Morris, 39, who finished 19th in the women’s marathon. But for sheer longevity it's hard to beat Jamaican-born Merlene Ottey, who now competes for Slovenia. She became the oldest women's competitor ever at a World Championships when she ran the 200m heats here at the grand old age of 47. Ottey made her Worlds debut in 1983, when Ronald Reagan was President of the USA.
The most impressive return
Jana Rawlinson. The Australian, who is married to British 400m hurdler Chris Rawlinson, won gold in the women's 400m hurdles just eight months after giving birth to a son, Cornelius. "There is some truth in the saying that mommies come back strong," she said.
The athlete most in touch with his emotions
Australian race walker Nathan Deakes, who celebrated winning the 50km walk by crossing the line and having a good old fashioned, face-melting cry. Good on ya, sport!
The oops! award
The race official during the men's 50K walk who miscalculated the number of laps of the 2km street circuit Japanese competitor Yuki Yamazaki had completed. He was told to enter Nagai Stadium for what he thought was the end of the race, he crossed the line, elated to have finished ninth, and collapsed with exhaustion. Imagine how he felt to be told that he actually had come in one lap early and would be marked down as a Did Not Finish on official records.
The foregone conclusion award
Swedish heptathlete Carolina Kluft. She won gold here, extending a winning streak that stretches back seven years, and set a new personal best of 7032 points in the process.
The sounds familiar award
Alberto Juantorena of Cuba, who finished 18th in the men's decathlon. The 30-year-old is the son of the similarly-named track legend, who is connected by many to David Coleman's memorable commentary line: "And Juantorena opens his legs and shows his class!"