Lashinda Demus of the United States held off defending champion Melaine Walker to win the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the world championships on Thursday.

Walker, the gold medallist from 2009, went out fast but Demus timed her run well and then dug deep in the closing metres to take the gold in a world-leading 52.47 seconds.

Crossing the line second was Walker in a seasonal best of 52.73, while Natalya Antyukh of Russia was third in 53.85.

The men’s race went to Great Britain’s David Greene, whose late burst in the final 100m deemed too much for his rivals to handle.

Greene ran 48.26 for the gold medal – beating Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson (48.44), who won silver also at the last championships. South Africa’s L.J. van Zyl won the bronze in 44.80.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be honest, that I’m world champion,” said Greene. “This was my aim all week and I’m proud to come away with a victory.

“When I get back to the hotel tonight, I’ll be like this was a dream come true.”

Event favourite Bershawn Jackson of USA ran 49.24 for 5th place.

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