Usain Bolt once again produced his best when it mattered most to retain his 100 meters title on Sunday at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing and reassert his status as the fastest man on the planet.
The 29-year-old Jamaican surged past the in-form American Justin Gatlin over the last 30 meters and crossed the line in 9.79 seconds, his fastest run of the year.
Gatlin finished second in 9.80 to take silver, while Andre de Grasse of Canada and American Trayvon Bromell finished together in third place in a time of 9.92. They will both be awarded bronze medals after they ran identical times down to one-1,000th of a second.
Bolt, the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, has now not been beaten in the 100m or 200m in six major global championships going back to 2007.
"For me, for me it was very important because I'm trying to build to my legend status, and I need to win all my races in every championship, so for me it was a big deal and I got it done, so I'm happy with myself," said Bolt after the race.
"I don't really care about the time really. For me it wasn't the best race. It was sloppy but that's because it's just been a long season. I'm race rusty, so it was just a sloppy race, but the key thing is that I won and that's what I did."
He was disqualified from the shorter race at the Deagu world championships in 2011, however, and flirted with a similar mishap when he stumbled out of the blocks in the semi-finals earlier on Sunday.
There were no mistakes when it came to final, though, and, back at the stadium where he first rocketed into the sporting stratosphere at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he powered down lane five to edge Gatlin.
The 33-year-old American, a world and Olympic champion before his four-year doping ban and the rise of Bolt, will perhaps regret dipping for the line quite so far out, a move which disrupted his rhythm and reduced his speed.
The victory for Bolt will be an undoubted boost for a sport which has spent three weeks locked in a public relations crisis after allegations of widespread doping among athletes.
"I definitely think this was my hardest race. I've been through a lot this season, it's been rough, and Justin has been running great. He's been showing up running fast times, so I knew it wasn't going to be easy. It's a championship, and I always say that my coaches told me one thing, that I've learned over the years, that Justin Gatlin, when it comes to the championships, he always shows up. So for me I knew that if I'm going to come here and win I'd have to run a great race, and a well-executed race, so for me I'm just happy that I got it done and I'm proud of myself," said Bolt.
Gatlin was left to regret his ill-timed dip for the line.
"I leaned too far forward, especially coming to the finish line, caught myself off balance, by the time I looked over, there was him, he was there," he said before adding that he wanted people to move on from commenting on his doping ban.
"I wish everybody would get over it, and everything they have done, I respect that, I think everyone should respect that. It should be a shame on people and reporters who put that pressure on Usain and put that pressure on me, and anybody else in that situation. Let people do their job, I came out here to run," he said.
Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill of Britain, who only decided to compete four weeks ago, regained the heptathlon world title after what she described as her "hardest year ever."
Ennis-Hill became a mother for the first time 13 months ago, and had originally intended for 2015 to be a "transition" year to prepare for the defense of the Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro.