Mo Farah dug out a performance of guts and guile on Friday night to gather another gold in the 10,000 metres. The 34-year-old Briton crossed the line to an explosion of fireworks after what he described as his toughest race.
That he claimed it in the season's fastest time of 26:49.51 seconds was a testament to his experience.
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei from Uganda was second in 26:49.94 seconds and Paul Kipngetich Tanui from Kenya was third.
Farah stumbled twice during a chaotic final lap but managed to keep his poise during the final surge for the line
"I didn't want to let all the people down," he said during a lap of honour with his three children. Gesturing to the roaring thousands in the stands, he added: "Incredible. I love you all. I thank all the people who come from wherever they come from. You've all been wonderful."
However, an hour after the race, though he required medical treament on his legs, he said he would not miss the 5,000m and the chance to complete a 'triple double' at the world championships.
With four Olympic golds, Farah is Britain's most decorated track athlete and his third consecutive 10,000m world championship crown takes his collection from the biennial events to six golds and one silver. Only Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele have been more successful over 10,000m at the world championsips each winning four.
Farah's victory - his 10th consecutive triumph in a major international competition - was the perfect end for the partisans at the opening day of the world championships.
Organisers declared that the Queen Elizabeth Stadium would be full to its 60,000 capacity during the opening evening of competition. It wasn't a false boast.
Spectators singled out their favourites: Britons were given rapturous cheers before and after their heats. Usain Bolt was treated as one of their own too. Hardly surprising since the track - the venue for the 2012 London Olympics - witnessed his entry into living legend status after he became the first man to defend the 100 and 200m Olympic crowns.
Five years on from those triumphs, the 30-year-old Jamaican will step away from competitive action after the London meeting.
However he ensured his retirement was delayed by 24 hours by qualifying for Saturday's semi-finals of the 100m. Christian Coleman, from the United States, the fastest man this season over that distance, eased into the semis as well as his compatriot Justin Gatlin who was whistled and jeered before and after his race.
"It's not the panto season," the stadium announcer said to the hecklers in the crowd as Gatlin left the track.
The 35-year-old American, who served a doping ban between 2006 and 2010, is the last man to beat Bolt over 100m. That was at the Diamond League meeting in Rome in June 2013. A few months later, Bolt claimed gold in both the 100m and 200m at the world championships in Moscow at Gatlin's expense. Since then Bolt has enjoyed the golden spoils in major finals.
And as if to underscore that consistency, in one of the surprises of the night, Jeff Henderson, the Olympic champion in the long jump, failed to reach the 8.05 qualifying mark for Saturday's final. The 28-year-old American could only manage 7.84 metres and was eliminated from the final 12. Radek Juska from the Czech Republic led the field with 8.24m followed by Maykel Masso from Cuba and Ruswahl Samaai from South Africa.