Moscow - Unheralded Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago ruined two-time Olympic champion Felix Sanchez's bid to nail a history-making third world title in the 400 metres hurdles on Thursday.
Gordon, sixth in the London Olympics and fourth in the 2009 worlds in Berlin, came from nowhere to snatch gold in 47.69sec, with American Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley taking silver at just one-hundredth of a second.
The battle for the third spot on the podium was tight, but went the way of Serbia's Emir Bekric, the European silver medallist, for a first-ever world medal for his country.
Cuban Omar Cisneros beat Sanchez for fourth spot for a sorry end to the world champs for the Dominican Republic star, who turns 36 at the end of August.
The London Olympic champion had picked the little-known Gordon as favourite for the race and proved to be right on the money.
"I started well after feeling good in warm-up," said Sanchez. "But after the third hurdle I made some mistakes and lost too much time.
"I came back to finish strong but it was not enough to come back after those mistakes - they definitely cost me a medal."
Sanchez was non-committal about his likely participation in the next world championships in Beijing in 2015.
"I don't know," he said. "I need to think about it. There's still two long years ahead."
The 21-year-old Gordon quickly fixed his long-term goal as becoming Olympic and Pan-American champion.
"Those victories won't come easy, I know, but I'll just keep working and believing in myself," Gordon said.
"After I crossed the line my heart stopped for a minute, I just wanted to look up at the screen and see my name there."
Tinsley was left ruing his final run-in to the line, when he thought he had the better of the Trinidadian, for whose country it was only the second world gold after Ato Boldon's 200m victory in 1997.
"Jehue and me both came down on the 10th hurdle and I thought I could get him, but he came back at me on the line," said Tinsley.
"I would lie if I said I didn't want that gold medal. It was really close, a tough race."
Puerto Rico's Olympic bronze-medal winner Javier Culsom finished sixth, ahead of Senegal's Mamdou Kasse Hannne with American Kerron Clement, world champion in 2007 and 2009, finishing eighth and last.
Sixth day finals results on Thursday at the World Athletics Championships:
1. Abeba Arigawi (SWE) 4:02.67
2. Jennifer Simpson (USA) 4:02.99
3. Helen Onsando Obiri (KEN) 4:03.86
4. Hannah England (GBR) 4:04.98
5. Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon (KEN) 4:05.08
6. Ekaterina Sharmina (RUS) 4:05.49
7. Zoe Buckman (AUS) 4:05.77
8. Genzebe Dibaba (ETH) 4:05.99
9. Nancy Jebet Lagat (KEN) 4:06.01
10. Mary Cain (USA) 4:07.19
11. Siham Hilali (MOR) 4:09.16
12. Elena Korobkina (RUS) 4:10.18
1. Zuzana Hejnova (CZE) 52.83
2. Dalilah Muhammad (USA) 54.09
3. Lashinda Demus (USA) 54.27
4. Anna Titimets (UKR) 54.72
5. Eilidh Child (GBR) 54.86
6. Anna Yaroshchuk (UKR) 55.01
7. Perri Shakes-Drayton (GBR) 56.25
8. Nickiesha Wilson (JAM) 57.34
1. Caterine Ibarguen (COL) 14.85
2. Ekaterina Koneva (RUS) 14.81
3. Olha Saladuha (UKR) 14.65
4. Kimberly Williams (JAM) 14.62
5. Mabel Gay (CUB) 14.45
6. Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko (ISR) 14.33
7. Anna Pyatykh (RUS) 14.29
8. Irina Gumenyuk (RUS) 14.15
9. Snezana Rodic (SLO) 14.13
10. Anna Jagaciak (POL) 13.95
11. Dana Veldakova (SVK) 13.84
12. Athanasa Prra (GRE) 13.75
400m hurdles men:
1. Jehue Gordon (TRI) 47.69
2. Micheal Tinsley (USA) 47.70
3. Emir Bekric (SRB) 48.05
4. Omar Cisneros (CUB) 48.12
5. Felix Sanchez (DOM) 48.22
6. Javier Culson (PUR) 48.38
7. Mamadou Kasse Hane (SEN) 48.68
8. Kerron Clement (USA) 49.08
1. Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN) 8:06.01
2. Conseslus Kipruto (KEN) 8:06.37
3. Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA) 8:07.86
4. Paul Kipsiele Koech (KEN) 8:08.62
5. Evan Jager (USA) 8:08.67
6. Matthew Hughes (CAN) 8:11.64
7. Abel Kiprob Mutai (KEN) 8:17.04
8. Yoann Kowal (FRA) 8:17.41
9. Hamid Ezzine (MOR) 8:19.53
10. Ion Luchianov (MDA) 8:19.99