DOHA    -   Norway’s Karsten Warholm said he felt he was “going to die” as he held off close rival Rai Benjamin to defend his world 400m hurdles title in Doha.

The 23-year-old took the lead with 150m remaining and stayed just ahead of the American to win in 47.42 seconds, with Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba third.

“This was a very tough race. I actually felt my heart was going to stop,” Warholm told BBC Sport. “I thought ‘I’m going to die but it’s going to be worth it’.”

Warholm’s shocked reaction in winning his first world title two years ago became one of the most iconic moments of London 2017. His form has been equally brilliant this season in the build-up to the championships, having recorded 46.92 to move to second on the all-time list behind the USA’s Kevin Young, whose world record of 46.78 has stood for 27 years.

However, Benjamin, 22, also dipped under 47 seconds this season, which made the men’s 400m hurdles one of the most eagerly anticipated of the championships. “This is only the beginning and I am very lucky to win,” Warholm added. “It’s deserved but in the future these guys will be tougher to beat. Tomorrow I have to get up and work again. That is what I love. Norway is a small country. For me to be showing off on the world stage, it’s better than anything else.”

Another final lived up to its hype as Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris defended his 5,000m title by holding off teenage compatriot Selemon Barega in the home straight to win in 12 minutes 58.85 seconds.

It was a magnificent final 400m as Norway’s European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen took up the front running only to be reeled in by the duo, who were roared on by a large section of Ethiopian fans. Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed claimed bronze, while the youngest of the Ingebrigtsen brothers came fourth. Henrik Ingebrigtsen was 13th and the other sibling, Filip, did not finish. There was a shock in the women’s 800m as Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi clinched gold in one minute 58.04 seconds after world number one Ajee Wilson of the USA ran out of steam with 60m to go, having led around the final bend.

Wilson was then overtaken by team-mate Raevyn Rogers, who produced a great late finish. This was a competition without reigning world and Olympic champion Caster Semenya. The South African was not competing in Doha after the IAAF, the sport’s governing body, introduced a rule that athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) wishing to compete in track events from 400m to the mile must either take testosterone-reducing medication or change to another distance.

In the women’s high jump, Russian Mariya Lasitskene, competing under the Authorised Neutral Athlete flag, cleared 2.04m to win a third successive world title. Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh also managed 2.04m, on her third attempt, but called it a day after becoming the youngest ever world field medallist, at 18 years and 11 days. The USA’s former world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham took bronze.

Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech led from almost start to finish as she won the 3,000m steeplechase, having initially set off at world record pace. She clinched gold in a championship record time of eight minutes 57.84 seconds, with defending champion Emma Coburn of the USA taking silver and Germany’s Gesa Krause in bronze position.

Swede Daniel Stahl claimed his first world title in the discus, having had to settle for silver two years ago. His third-round 67.59m throw was enough for gold. Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres was second and Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger took bronze.

The 27-year-old celebrated by racing down the length of the discus field before clearing a hurdle set up for the 400m hurdles final.