IAAF World Championships: Powell, Dibaba and Bolt among the greatest moments

The best track and field athletes on the planet have served up a treat at the IAAF World Championships with phenomenal exploits over the years.

Usain Bolt will get one more chance to put on a show in London when he ends his incredible career on the track, but the Jamaican superstar will surely not go quicker than he did in Berlin eight years ago.

The legendary Bolt set a 100 metres world record which still stands in the 2009 World Championships, a decade after Michael Johnson shone in sensational fashion in Seville.

Tirunesh Dibaba is also among the greats who have conjured up World Championship moments which have lived long in the memory, and we take a look at a selection of the standout performances in the biennial event.


Mike Powell and the great Carl Lewis leaped into uncharted territory in a thrilling long jump duel on an epic night in Tokyo.

Lewis was on a high after breaking the 100m world record, but his fellow American Powell made history in Japan to deny him another gold in the long jump.

Powell took off to leap an incredible 8.95 metres, smashing Bob Beamon’s world record which had stood for almost 23 years.

Lewis had twice been crowned long jump world champion, but despite recording one wind-assisted bound beyond Beamon’s record, he had to settle for silver.

Five of the seven longest jumps in history were achieved on that thrilling evening and Powell’s mark has not been bettered to this day.


Edwards broke the triple jump record not once, but twice as he won the first of his two world titles in style in Gothenburg.

The Brit hopped, skipped and jumped to a new record of 18.16m with his first effort of the final, becoming the first man to legally go beyond the 18m mark.

Not content with that as the adrenaline pumped, Edwards launched himself a phenomenal 18.29m only 20 minutes later.

Edwards, who also won gold in Edmonton six years later and took the Olympic title in 2000, remains the world-record holder.


Johnson is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes to grace the track and the American treated a packed crowd in Seville to a 400m masterclass 18 years ago.

The powerful Johnson hurtled down the back straight seemingly effortlessly with his upright stance and burst away from the field.

With the world record in his sights, Johnson put the hammer down on the home straight and crossed the line in 43.18s, breaking a world record which Butch Reynolds held for 11 years.

South African Wayde van Niekerk shattered Johnson’s long-standing record over a lap at the Rio Olympics last year.


Tirunesh Dibaba is another athlete who is rated as one of the best of all time, boasting a long list of achievements on the track.

The Ethiopian long-distance runner completed a magnificent double in Helsinki 12 years ago, taking the 10,000m and 5000m titles.

Dibaba became the first woman to achieve a distance double on the track, surging away before crossing the line in a World Championship-record time over the shorter distance.

The legendary Dibaba went on to break the 5000m world record in Oslo three years later, clocking 14 minutes and 11.15 seconds.


Bolt has achieved so much on the track, establishing himself as the greatest sprinter in history.

The charismatic Jamaican was at his brilliant best at the World Championships in Berlin, where an expectant crowd witnessed something truly special.

He has produced the extraordinary time and time again, but never more so than that historic night in the German capital.

Bolt blew his rivals away, flying out of the blocks and effortlessly breaking his own world record by eleven hundredths of a second.

Even the great man himself has never gone faster than that astonishing run of 9.58s.

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