Pre-race favourite Robert Korzeniowski confirmed his status as the best in the world as he successfully defended his 50km walk title.
Korzeniowski has dominated the event since 1996
In the process the 35-year-old Polish athlete broke his own world best time, finishing in a provisional three hours, 36 minutes and three seconds.
He beat the previous best of 3:36:39 he set in winning the European title in Munich last year by 36 seconds.
Russian German Skurygin, who was stripped of his world gold in Seville in 1999 after failing a drugs test, claimed silver in 3:36:42, while German Andreas Erm took bronze in 3:37:46.
Korzeniowski has dominated the event since winning Olympic gold in 1996.
He also won an unprecedented 20km and 50km double at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but opted to only compete in the longer distance in Paris.
"I had difficult moments, not really physically but mentally, because I knew I was on course for the world record
and Skurygin was really strong," said Korzeniowski.
"The crowd kept telling me to push harder and I did what I was told."
The Pole recorded the second world men's walk best of the championships, following Ecuador's Jefferson Perez, who set a new standard in taking gold in the 20km on the opening day.