MOSCOW - Ezekiel Kemboi laid claim to being the greatest steeplechaser of all time yesterday as the extrovert Kenyan won a record-equalling third 3000m steeplechase world title at the world athletics championships.
The 31-year-old two-time Olympic champion - sporting a new Mohican hairstyle and who danced stylishly in celebration - equalled compatriot Moses Kiptanui's record as he coasted to victory.
"It's good to be the king," smiled the never shy 31-year-old.
Kemboi, who also has three world silvers, could well win a record fourth in two years time but the all-time record haul of world titles in all events will be beyond him.
That record of eight is at risk of falling as American sprint queen Allyson Felix — who has three 200m gold and five relay titles — looked sublime in cruising into the 200m final.
Should she prevail in today's final she will move one ahead of joint-holders, and now retired, compatriots Michael Johnson and Carl Lewis.
However, she has been promised a real fight.
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, fresh from regaining her 100m crown declared she was the best, but she will have to improve considerably after being outclassed by the 27-year-old American in the Olympic final last year.
While Kemboi and Felix's hopes of medal records remain very much alive, those of the Dominican Republic's 400m hurdling great Felix Sanchez look to be in tatters as he never threatened to become the first man to win three golds in the event.
The championships have yet to see a world record fall but Ukrainian Bohdan Bondarenko at least gave the noisy young fans from his country reward with gold in the high jump with 2.41 metres.
He then had a tilt at the world record, but Cuban legend Javier Sotomayor's 20-year-old mark of 2.45 metres refused to fall.