Sporting showpieces crave drama. Andrew Butchart provided ample twists and turns last night in Doha. For 90 minutes, the Scot believed his journey at the world championships had ended before the opening evening had even reached its conclusion.

Having finished seventh in the semi-finals of the 5,000 metres he looked set to miss out by a single position.

But then he was back in. An unexpected reprieve came after Norway’s teen prodigy Jakob Ingebrigtsen was adjudged to have stepped off the track via athletics version of VAR. 

Just after midnight, an appeals panel swerved again. No intent, they said. The European champion was reinstated for Monday’s final and the Scot out once more. 

He had worked up quite a sweat within the Khalifa Stadium despite the extraordinary cooling system, but Butchart said the climate could not provide an excuse for his failure to ease through, even if it had left fellow competitors struggling with Braima Dabo of Guinea-Bissau draping an exhausted Jonathan Busby of Aruba across his shoulders so both could collapse across the line, almost five minutes after their foes had darted for the shade.

“The conditions weren’t too bad,” said the 27-year-old Scot, who ran 13:26.46. “It could have been a lot better but also a lot worse and it’s the same for everyone isn’t it? It’s hard to close on these guys without committing. The last 100 metres were hard. It’s hard not being in the top five going fast. But it is what it is. I have enough quality to get into these major finals and that’s what I should be doing.”

There was no belated salvation for Butchart’s girlfriend Lynsey Sharp who departed the 800 metres in tears as her chance of a medal evaporated without explanation.

Fourth in the last race of the opening round in 2:03.47, she was eliminated ahead of tonight’s semi-finals, squeezed out by Morocco’s Rababe Arafi amid a five-way scramble down the home straight.

“Lynsey didn’t run with the confidence she has shown in other races this year,” former world champion and BBC pundit Paula Radcliffe said. “She let others dictate the race. It didn’t suit her at all. That is a real shame.

“She was one of the ones to watch in the 800m and she had a big chance here but she didn’t take the race on or stamp her authority on to it.”

British contenders Zharnel Hughes and Adam Gemili remain on course to line up in tonight’s 100 metres final after the pair reached the semis, while also today Steph Twell will be competing in the 10,000 metres.

The Scot is hoping her run will help her decide whether to take her Tokyo Olympics shot on the track or on the roads. The Scot will test herself over 26 miles next month in Frankfurt and then try to figure out which path she might take.

“For me to explore both avenues is important,” she said. “It’s interesting to see what impact I could have in Tokyo – and is it going to be over the 10,000 or at the marathon?”