With a brisk 20-kilometer walk through the morning sunshine, Olympic champion Olga Kaniskina won her third straight world title to push Russia to the top of the overall medals standings.
After the failures of champion like Usain Bolt and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, Kaniskina went out strong and never faltered as she continued her domination of athletics' quirky event. Liu Hong of China took silver and Russian teammate Anisya Kirdyapkina added bronze.
"I feel good," said Liu. "My strategy was to follow my own rhythm and I did just that." Liu won the bronze in the same event at the 2009 world championships. "My Italian coach was of great help. Wining silver is an improvement and it boosts my confidence for next year's London Olympic Games."
Russia has 10 medals overall and four gold. The United States also has four gold medals, but nine overall.
Although Kaniskina won by a big margin, she was worried until the end about disqualification for having her walk turn into a run when both feet lift off the ground.
"Even in the finish, you cannot be sure about your victory because you still can get a red tag," Kaniskina said.
Disqualification has been too much of a story already during the first half of the championships. Until yesterday, every star that organizers put on the front of their official program, from Bolt to Robles to sixth-place finisher Isinbayeva, met with debacle. It was only Kaniskina to break the "curse of the cover" as it became known.
"I wasn't even aware that I was on the cover today," Kaniskina said. "I'd like to thank everyone for not telling me about it before the race."