Heartbroken Laura Muir admitted to a costly slight miscalculation in her tactics after missing out on a first World Championship medal at 1,500m by seven hundredths of a second in London tonight.
Muir, 24, led at the halfway point and was always in contention for a medal but saw bronze snatched away when she was pipped on the line by controversial South African Caster Semenya.
It was another bitter blow for the Scot, who bounced back from seventh place at the Rio Olympics by winning double gold at the European Indoor Championships this year, and means Mo Farah’s 10,000m gold remains Britain’s only medal at this championships.
“It’s fourth, what can I say? I gave it everything I had but ran out of energy in the last 50m as they came past,” said Muir, whose preparations were hit by a stress fracture.
"Considering the disruption I had this year, I did all I could. I knew it was close. Everything happened so late in the race so I couldn't react. I was so close to getting a medal.”
Muir goes in the 5,000m later this week. Fellow Briton Laura Weightman was sixth as Kenyan Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon took gold ahead of American Jennifer Simpson.
On a frustrating night for British athletes, Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon failed to add to her Rio success, finishing seventh in the hammer as Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk took gold.
The former ballet dancer from Burnley saved her best throw until last, but her effort of 72.32 was still more than a metre shy of making the podium.
“That crowd was absolutely amazing. I am just sorry I couldn’t produce something better for them,” said Hitchon.
“I did feel the pressure but it is more the pressure I put on myself to go out there and produce my best but I didn’t do that today.”
There was more for home fans to cheer in the men’s 200m, with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake leading a trio of British qualifiers for Wednesday’s semi-finals. He won his heat in 20.08 seconds, the second fastest time of the first round.
Danny Talbot also progressed after mustering a personal best of 20.16 seconds from lane eight. He finished just one thousandth of a second behind Olympic 400m champions Wayde van Niekerk in their heat.
Zharnel Hughes finished a comparatively disappointing fourth in his first round race but qualified among the fastest losers.
Jamaican Omar McLeod added the world title to his Olympic gold in the 110m hurdles. Russian Sergey Shubenkov, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, took silver ahead of Hungarian Balazs Baji.
Great Britain team captain Eilidh Doyle finished third in her 400m hurdles heat to reach the semi-finals. She was joined by Meghan Beesley, who was sixth in her heat but one of the fastest losers.
Jack Green missed out on a place in the final of the men's 400m hurdles, finishing fourth in his semi-final.