Mo Farah ran a blistering last lap of 52.6 seconds to sprint away to a brilliant 5,000m gold and become the first man in history to pull off a distance 'triple-double'.
Farah made it three successive world 5,000m titles and has now won golds in both track distance events at the Olympics and two World Championships as he once again found both the perfect tactical response and the form to pull it off.
This time he would not be allowed to lead it out from 500 metres to go, as we have seen so often, with Kenya's Commonwealth champion Caleb Ndiku going to the front before the bell and stretching away down the back straight.
But as the field splintered Farah first hung on and then, coming off the final bend, surged past Ndiku to go away to his seventh global track title in a row.
It had been a slow race, and Farah's finishing time of 13 minutes 50.38 seconds was in itself not remarkable, Ndiku 1.37 seconds back in silver and Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet taking bronze from his compatriot Yomif Kejelcha.
Farah's historic 'triple-double'
Yet this was about the response to a fresh and dangerous challenge: a final 800 metres of 1:48.6 and a last 400 metres that none of his rivals could possibly match.
With a series of allegations made against his coach Alberto Salazar - all denied by the American, and with no suggestion Farah has done anything wrong - this has been a difficult summer for the man who won the 10,000m and 5,000m double at both the last Worlds in Moscow and the London Olympics.
But in the same Bird's Nest stadium where he failed to make it through the 5,000m heats of the 2008 Olympics, Farah continued his unparalleled sequence of distance victories in wonderful style.
The race was slow to unfold, Britain's Tom Farrell taking them through 2,000 metres in just under six minutes.
Farah was content to sit at the back, going wide to pick up a drink of water from the feeding stations on the back straight early on and dump it over his head.
Only with seven laps to go did he move up through the field, cruising into second behind Ethiopia's Imane Merga before easing to the front with 1,600 metres to go.
Gebrhiwet went to his shoulder with three laps to go and was joined by his two Ethiopian team-mates as the pace finally quickened.
Ndiku then threw in a big effort with 800 metres left and as Farah tried to come past him at the bell held the Briton off and kicked again.
But Farah would not be beaten, the best distance runners left in his wake once again.
Farah won Britain's fourth gold medal of the World Championships
Brendan Foster, Olympic medallist and BBC athletics commentator said: "I would say Mo is the greatest sportsman Britain has ever had.
"Tonight has put him at the top table. When you talk about the greatest distance runners of the world, he has gone alongside them. He is up there with the greats Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Emil Zatopek and Lasse Viren.
"Nobody has worked out how to beat him and he's got the Rio Olympics next year and then maybe the Worlds again in London in 2017.
"This guy is still adding to his record books. He is getting better as he gets older."