American Phyllis Francis won a surprise World Championships 400 meters gold on Wednesday as Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo inexplicably stumbled when seemingly certain of victory in an extraordinary finale.

Francis looked out of the medals with 80 meters to go but maintained her form amid the carnage to post a personal best time of 49.92 seconds and take a shock gold that even after crossing the line she had no idea she had won.

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, 19, claimed a brilliant silver in 50.06, her third national record this week, as defending champion Allyson Felix of the United States faded to get bronze in 50.08.

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Bahamian Miller-Uibo, who famously dived over the line to pip Felix to Olympic gold last year, was clear with less than 20 meters left but as she tired and tied up she tripped on her own foot, stumbling almost to a standstill as her rivals stormed past.

It is such an amazing feeling, being world champion sounds pretty cool,” said Francis, who finished fifth in the Rio Olympic final but took a gold in the 4 x 400m relay.

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