'Superwoman': Incredible scenes as female star breaks Usain Bolt world record

It was mother’s day at the athletics world championships on Sunday as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce surged to an unprecedented fourth 100m crown and US legend Allyson Felix broke Usain Bolt's gold medal record tally.

Fraser-Pryce and Felix, both racing in their first major championships since taking time off from the sport to have children, lit up a pulsating day three of competition - even if the action was played out inside a near-empty Khalifa Stadium.

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Felix won a record 12th World Championship gold medal - helping USA win the 4x400m mixed relay in a world record time of 3min 09.34sec.

Felix only returned to the sport in July after a 13-month layoff which saw her give birth to her daughter Camryn by emergency C-section last November.

Allyson Felix broke Usain Bolt's record for most world championship gold medals. Image: IAAF/Getty

Her 12th gold medal broke Jamaican legend Bolt's record tally of 11 at the world championships.

Overall, Felix now has an incredible 26 medals, a dazzling haul that also includes six Olympic golds.

Felix, competing in her ninth straight world championships, has accumulated more World Championship and Olympic honours than any other track and field athlete in history.

"So special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me," Felix said afterwards. "It's been a crazy year for me."

Wilbert London, Michael Cherry, Courtney Okolo and Allyson Felix pose with their new world record. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)

Felix later paid tribute to the support of Fraser-Pryce as she worked her way back to fitness this season.

"We've talked a lot this year and been there for each other," Felix said.

"She's been an amazing support. I'm just thrilled to see her back on top and better than ever, and I hope that is an inspiration to others. I know that she's an inspiration to me."

Fraser-Pryce lights up 100m final

The 32-year-old Fraser-Pryce, who skipped the 2017 championships to give birth to her first child, delivered a barnstorming run to take the 100m title in 10.71sec.

"To be standing here as world champion again after having my baby, I am elated," said Fraser-Pryce.

"The females keep showing up. We love to put on a performance and for me I am just really happy to come away with the win."

Fraser-Pryce was in control from the gun, rocketing out of the blocks and taking the lead in the opening 20 metres.

From that point there was only going to be one winner, and the veteran Jamaican swept over the line majestically to add to the world titles won in 2009, 2013 and 2015 before setting off on a victory lap carrying her two-year-old son Zyon.