There was only one final on the opening night of the IAAF World Championships 2017, but that’s all that was needed to get the old Olympic stadium rocking. It’s time for the first installment of the London Wrap!

Medal me this

USA women 4x4 receive their gold medal from 2013 (Getty Images)

Championships don’t ordinarily kick off with a medal ceremony. However, owing the misadventures of athletes past, we had a round of medal reallocations before action got under way.

This was the right thing to do. Just ask American Francena McCorory, who was awarded 400m bronze from 2011 and a 4x400 gold from 2013.

“Today was so emotional for me,” she said on Insta. “I'm thankful that the IAAF decided to give us our moment … I’m so proud of me and my girls.”

There’s a dog in the choir

Five years ago the Brits went all out for the opening of the London 2012 Olympics. This time round there was no reconstruction of the industrial revolution, nor was there a cameo by James Bond and the Queen. But there was a choir and it did have a dog in it (a guide dog for a blind choristor). And – let’s be honest – that’s much, much better.

Louder than breathing

Jessica Judd London 2017 1500m Heat 1 ()

The only thing the Brits love more than athletics is letting everyone know how much they’re enjoying watching athletics. On the eve of the champs, British team captain Eilidh Doyle called on her teammates to make the most of the voiciferous support, but there were unexpected consequences.

British 1500m athlete Jess Judd normally listens to her lungs to judge her pace. Not tonight. “I couldn’t hear myself breathe,” she said, explaining why she took her race out at a pace rarely seen in the heats.

It worked in her favour, though: a shiny PB and a place in the semis was the reward for her gutsy front-run.

A classic

Mo Farah Abadi Hadis Men's 10k London 2017 ()

It wasn’t just the Brits enjoying the atmosphere. Witness Geoffrey Kamworor grinning broadly as his name was announced to the crowd before the night’s finale, the men’s 10,000m. He wasn’t smiling for much longer, mind.

It was a crazy race. An opening lap of 61 set the tone, as Kamworor and Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei and Moses Kurong launched this 25-lap battle on a grimace-inducing course.

As the pace at the front changed more than the British weather, hanging back, biding his time, was one Mo Farah. A little after half way, the Briton surged to the front and began trading blows with his east African rivals.

The decibel levels were dangerous. So was the running. Elbows were out, and Farah just about survived a tangle with Paul Tanui with 600m to go before powering through a 55.6 last lap to take his sixth world champs gold medal.

Farah’s win brings him a third consecutive 10,000m title; it was the hardest-earned of them all.


A notable mention has to go to Joshua Cheptegei for his 10k run. While Kamworor faded after the early pace, he continued to take the fight to Farah, pushing him to the end and crossing the line in a worthy second.

Just five months ago this approach saw him come a cropper at the world cross country champs, where he died within sight of the line and went from 1st to 30th. Silver tonight will heal some of those wounds and, judging from the reaction of his supporters in the stands, will have them dancing on the streets of Kampala late into the night.