Switzerland's Mujinga Kambundji takes in her shock world indoor 60m victory in Belgrade as event favourite Ewa Swoboda of Poland reacts to her failure to reach the podium ©Getty Images

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji won a shock gold from lane eight in the women’s 60 metres final, clocking 6.96sec to move to equal third on the all-time list, as a dramatic opening day of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22 came to a close in the Stark Arena.

Kambundji’s first big Championship win followed two huge victories in the field as Portugal’s Auriol Dongmo claimed women’s shot put gold with a massive personal best of 20.43 metres and Greece’s Olympic men’s long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou settled his contest with an extravagant 2022 world-leading mark of 8.55m.

The focus of attention in the women’s 60m had been on Poland’s Ewa Swoboda, who moved top of the 2022 lists in Torun earlier this month with her first sub seven second clocking, 6.99sec.

But the Polish athlete, lacking her usual verve, did not even make the medals as Kambundji’s inspired run at the edge of the field was followed home by two United States runners clocking personal bests, with Mikiah Brisco taking silver in 6.99 and Marybeth Sant-Price, in her first big international event after a career undermined by two serious stress fractures, earned bronze in 7.04.

Kambundji, 29, was a 2019 world bronze medallist over 200m and earned world indoor 60m bronze at the last Championships in Birmingham four years ago, but with a semi-final time of 7.08sec she had only been able to secure a place on the right hand edge of the field.

"My semi-final was so-so," she told BBC Sport.

"At first I was disappointed because I like to be in the middle, but then I was able to run my own race.

"I have never been a champion - it’s my first gold so I am so proud."

Her face expressed shock in the aftermath.

Only when she was given a Swiss flag did that expression begin to be replaced by growing joy.

In world terms, only the Russian sprinter Irina Privalova - now temporary head of the beleaguered Russian Athletics Federation - on 6.92 and the US pair of Gail Devers and Marion Jones on 6.95 have run faster than Kambundji.

The 26-year-old Sant-Price, who was at one point advised by doctors to give up athletics because of her injuries, looked equally stunned to have won a medal in a time that was matched by the next three runners - Swoboda and the two Jamaicans, Briana Williams and Rio 2016 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.

Events in the field had proved equally compelling.

Dongmo, fourth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, had arrived as favourite to win on the back of her Portuguese record of 19.90m, the best women’s indoor throw since 2016. 

But she would need far more than that to live up to her billing.

Everything appeared to be going to script as the 31-year-old took the lead with a first effort of 19.32m.

Chase Ealey of the United States moved up to silver medal position with her second attempt of 19.11m.

The third round saw Fanny Roos of Sweden move into second place with 19.22m - but the competition was just warming up.

With her fourth-round effort, Jessica Schilder of The Netherlands managed 19.46m - 20cm up on the personal best she set in Apeldoorn last month and enough to take her into the gold medal position.

But in round five Ealey took over at the top with a North American indoor record of 20.21m, dwarfing her outdoor and outright personal best of 19.68m, and also bettering Dongmo’s best mark by 31cm.

It was a stupendous effort - and next up to throw was Dongmo. 

How would she respond?

Astonishingly the Portuguese athlete resumed gold medal position with 20.43m.

At the end, Dongmo, overcome by the convoluted emotions of the foregoing hour, fell to her knees with arms raised in celebration.

There was further drama in the men’s long jump as Tentoglou’s second-round 8.55m - a welcome present to himself on his 24th birthday - proved beyond the dogged efforts of a hugely talented field.

The 23-year-old Greek athlete was only seven centimetres shy of the Championship record set by the legendary Cuban Ivan Pedroso, who won this title five times.

Marquis Dendy of the United States moved into silver medal position with a third-round effort of 8.27m, but was displaced in turn in the final round by the perennially competitive Swede, Thomas Montler, who secured second place with a national indoor record of 8.38m.

Belgium’s Noor Vidts, fourth in the Tokyo 2020 heptathlon, won the pentathlon gold with 4929 points from Poland’s Adrianna Sulek on 4851 and Kendall Williams of the United States, who took bronze by just seven points from Britain’s Holly Mills on 4680.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, in her first competition since limping out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was fit enough to compete after last year’s leg surgery but lacking in the sharpness required to defend her title successfully, and after a sequence of results that were understandably modest by her own standards she dropped out before the concluding 800 metres.

Greece's Olympic long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou marked his 24th birthday by winning world indoor gold in Belgrade with 8.55m - just seven centimetres short of the Championship record ©Getty Images
Greece's Olympic long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou marked his 24th birthday by winning world indoor gold in Belgrade with 8.55m - just seven centimetres short of the Championship record ©Getty Images

Meanwhile Canada’s Olympic decathlon champion Damian Warner holds a three-point overnight lead in the heptathlon over Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer having earned 3649 points in winning today’s 60m hurdles, long jump, shot put and high jump.

Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu won the women’s 3,000m gold in 8min 41.82sec from Elinor Purrier St Pierre of the United States, who clocked 8:42.04, and Ethiopian Ejgayehu Taye, who finished in 8:42.04, just in front of Gabriela Debues-Stafford of Canada, who clocked 8:42.89.

Cuban triple jumper Lázaro Martínez won the first title of the event with his opening effort - adding 42cm to his personal best to register a world-leading mark of 17.64m that proved too much even for Olympic champion Pedro Pablo Pichardo.

Cuban-born Pichardo, who has competed for Portugal since 2019, took silver with successive national indoor records of 17.42 and 17.46m.