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ICYMI at the World Championships -- No more Hero anymore

Hero the Hedgehog flies into the London Stadium on a zipline to mark the final session of the World Athletics Championships. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

There was at least one farewell at the World Athletics Championships that went according to plan.

From dancing to gymnastics to aquaplaning on a rubber ring, Hero the Hedgehog has entertained young and old alike and helped foster the incredible atmosphere at London Stadium every session.

To mark the final evening of the championships, the mascot flew in on a zipline from the roof of the stadium and was then presented with a well-earned medal for "Best ever mascot".

It did beg the question: what would a hedgehog mascot have as his national anthem? The answer: LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it."

Thank you, Hero. You shall be missed.


Semenya targets world record

Caster Semenya produced a familiar performance in the 800-meter final, powering through the final 300 to take victory. With her medal cabinet full to the brim now, there becomes a search for what's left to achieve.

Semenya's best time this year of 1:55.27 is the fastest she has ever run at the distance, but she will need to lower that by exactly two seconds to beat the mark set by Jarmila Kratochvilova of the Czech Republic all the way back in 1983.

"I have Olympic, world and Commonwealth titles now so maybe it is time to target the world record," Semenya said after the race. "We need to clear 1:55 first and it will require a lot of hard training. It's the next thing on the list.

"I know it will be difficult but I will have to attempt soon, maybe."


Niyonsaba makes history for Burundi

Semenya was part of a dominant night for African middle- and long-distance running. Of the nine medals available in the women's 5,000 and 800 meters and the men's 1,500, African athletes claimed six -- two in each.

First Hellen Onsando Obiri outkicked Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia to win the 5,000 in a race that almost crawled to a standstill on the opening lap before Obiri and Ayana strode clear. "I was telling myself to go," Obiri said of her sprint for home. "I could see Ayana was not going so I thought, 'Why not?' So I said, 'Go.' I am mentally strong so I knew I was capable."

Semenya was followed home by Francine Niyonsaba, becoming the first female to ever win a world championships medal for Burundi and only the third athlete total from the East African nation. "This medal is for all Burundians. They are happy now," Niyonsaba said. "Everybody is watching in Burundi. I am the best runner of Burundi. I am so excited. I am very emotional now."

Perhaps the only surprise in the men's 1,500 final was that Kenya did not achieve a clean sweep of the medals.

He came in as the favourite for the 1,500-meters title, and Elijah Motonei Manangoi of Kenya does not disappoint. He holds off a challenge from compatriot Timothy Cheruiyot to win by 0.38 seconds, but the third Kenyan -- Asbel Kiprop -- cannot add to his three previous golds in this event as he is dropped from a breakaway group, finishing eighth. Kenya's wait for a clean sweep in the world 1,500m continues, while Europe's 34-year gold-medal drought continues.

Steven Saunders, ESPN UK

Perkovic and Stevens dominate discus

Sandra Perkovic produced one of the most dominant individual performances of the throwing events at these championships. The Croatian would have won the women's hammer with any of her best three throws, all of which were pinging the 70-meter arc on the infield, and at one stage she led by four meters while the rest of the field was separated by five meters.

But spare some praise for Dani Stevens of Australia, who threw consistently over 66 meters and then produced an epic final throw of 69.64 -- a lifetime best and a new Oceania record.

"I am in utopia right now," said Stevens. "Everything came together at the right moment. I did not think that I could throw that far.

"I hoped for a PB, now I have a national record and an area record. I could not be happier. Last year in Rio I came fourth, so I wanted to improve on that."


Injury costs Jamaica again

Allyson Felix extended her lead as the most decorated athlete in world championships history, picking up her 16th with a great leg in the 4x400-meters relay, easily won by the United States.

However, it might not have been so easy had Jamaica's injury curse not struck again. Just 24 hours after Usain Bolt collapsed to the track in his final ever appearance due to a strained muscle, the same fate befell Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby as she reached the lane-break point on the back straight of the second leg.

It had been claimed that Jamaica's wait in the call room had been a contributory factor to Bolt's injury. Had the same thing happened to McLaughlin-Whilby?

It also deprived Novlene Williams-Mills of a final run of her own. She was due to take the baton for the third leg, but instead met her teammate being pushed round in a wheelchair in the reverse direction. Williams-Mills, who overcame breast cancer in 2013, bows out with six World Championship medals and four Olympic medals.