“Believe,” Bolt mouthed to the cameras as he celebrated his win.
Nobody had stopped believing, even after he was disqualified from the 100 metres final last Sunday, but certainly there was a sense that the natural order had been restored.
If anyone in athletics can match Bolt for sheer charisma, it is Vlasic, but the Croatian, who was aiming for a third successive world title, found that counted for nothing against a rival in the form of her life.
Allyson Felix gathered her first gold medal of the 13th championships, after failing to win the 200-400 double, when the United States women won the 4x400m relay for the third time in a row.
Australia left it late to win a gold medal in Daegu, but finally succeeded through Sally Pearson’s barnstorming run in the 100 metres hurdles. She finished in 12.28 seconds to set a championship record and become the fourth fastest woman ever.
“I knew when I got to the final I could do anything,” Pearson said after completing a 17th straight win.
For all the drama dotted around Daegu’s cavernous stadium, there was no mistaking whose show it was, and the world’s fastest man conducted proceedings like a ringmaster.
From the second the Jamaican languidly entered the arena, all eyes were on him and he did not disappoint. After bumping fists with a girl volunteer he went through his now familiar routine of fashioning his hair, gesturing to the TV cameras and, in a new twist, smoothing his eyebrows.
His time was not close to his world record of 19.19 set at the last World Championships two years ago, but it was still the fastest of the year.
Silver medallist Walter Dix recorded a season’s best 19.70 and bronze medallist Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre clocked a national record 19.80.
“I feel great. I wasn’t running angry, I was running hard just to say to fans sorry about the 100 metres,” Bolt said.
“I came out here to do my best and prove to them.
“At the start I did not panic, 19.40 for me, it is a good time. I am not in my best shape, but it is all about fun and enjoyment.”
Perennial bridesmaid Chicherova finally got the better of Vlasic, taking the title after finishing runner-up to the Croatian in the 2007 and 2009 World Championships.
Vlasic, who confirmed her attendance very late due to a knee injury, jumped her season’s best of 2.03 metres but was matched by Chicherova.
When neither was able to manage 2.05, the title went to the Russian who, with her white socks pulled up to her knees, had a perfect five jumps at five previous heights.
Germany’s Matthias De Zordo also put on a show, clinching javelin gold with his first throw of 86.27 metres, a season’s best.
Norwegian Olympic champion and 2009 world champion Andreas Thorkildsen could not overhaul him and had to settle for silver.
In the men’s 1 500 metres, Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop outsprinted compatriot Silas Kiplagat for gold. His win in three minutes, 35.69 seconds clinched Kenya’s sixth gold – a record haul at a World Championships.