American Tom Pappas edged out Czech world record holder Roman Sebrle to claim the decathlon title at the World Championships in Paris.
The 26-year-old, who went into the competition as firm favourite, amassed 8,750 points to win by 116 points.
Sebrle, from the Czech Republic, recovered from a disappointing first day to claim the silver medal.
Kazakhstan's Dmitry Karpov faltered over the last four events but had done enough to hold on for bronze.
The 22-year-old had smashed his personal best times in the 100m, the long jump, high jump and the 400m to emerge as the surprise overnight leader.
The momentum continued to swing in Karpov's favour as he built his lead with strong performances in the 100m hurdles and the discus.
But the turning point came in the pole vault as Pappas launched himself over at 5.10m while Karpov could only manage 4.40m.
Pappas then went on to throw 65.90m in the javelin before coming through a gruelling 1500m in 4 minutes 44.31 seconds to seal the title.
Young American Bryan Clay had set the pace after the first three events but his charge came to an end in the 400m when he was forced to pull up injured.
Olympic champion Erki Nool had got his campaign off to a disappointing start and also withdrew after three events with a thigh injury.
Men's decathlon results:
1. Tom Pappas (US) 8,750 points
2. Roman Sebrle (Czech Republic) 8,634
3. Dmitry Karpov (Kazakhstan) 8,374
4. Tomas Dvorak (Czech Republic) 8,242
5. Laurent Hernu (France) 8,218
6. Lev Lobodin (Russia) 8,198
7. Haifeng Qi (China) 8,126
8. Andre Niklaus (Germany) 8,020
9. Claston Bernard (Jamaica) 8,000
10. Vitaliy Smirnov (Uzbekistan) 7,897
11. Chiel Warners (Netherlands) 7,753
12. Paul Terek (US) 7,503