Rob Heffernan on issue of doping in his event: “I hear about all these doping allegations, and I think to myself, ‘sure I’ve already known this the whole time.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The last thing Rob Heffernan needs is any reminder of how difficult it is to defend a World Championship title. Especially in the 50km walk. In the l(...)

 Chinese actors play Japanese soldiers in a film.  China is to  mark in style  the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, or the second World War. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Returning home from dinner on the bus last Saturday night, we were halted at the Dongzhimen intersection in downtown Beijing to make way for scores of(...)

Kenya’s David Rudisha  beats Adam Kszczot of Poland to win gold in the Men’s 800m final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

David Rudisha strained every sinew to win gold, Genzebe Dibaba dominated in the way the Kenyan once did and Usain Bolt’s second sprint showdown with J(...)

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates next to Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers as she wins the final of the women’s 100m at the World Championships  in Beijing. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

If perfectly familiar style and consistency are among the last bastions of credibility in athletics right now, then almost everything about day three(...)

Thomas Barr’s Irish 400m hurdles record of 48.65 seconds, set in June, ranks him 11th fastest of the Beijing entrants. Photogaph: Ramsey Cardy/ Sportsfile

There is no immediate similarity between his hurdling and his drifting. In one, Thomas Barr runs a 400m lap of the track, lined with 10 hurdles, each (...)

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei his  son Ai Lao at Munich airport: the activist has said  that his homeland must become a democratic society. Photograph: Matthias Schrader/AP

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has warned that his homeland will “explode” unless the communist regime allows managed transition to democracy. (...)

Beijing: China plans to link up the capital with the nearby city of Tianjin and the neighbouring province of Hebei into a city that will be as big as Uruguay and have a population of 100 million people. Photograph: Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

China’s urbanisation programme is the foundation on which the country’s economic boom has been built, and the reason why analysts are not too worried (...)

A worker smoking during a break at a demolition site in Beijing. Data shows that about 1.5 million people die from smoking-related diseases every year in China, where there are 300 million smokers. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

If at first you don’t succeed . . . China, the world’s heaviest smoking country, will launch its latest attempt to stop people smoking on Monday when (...)

Beijing currently has 5.57 million vehicles, which discharge 700,000 tons of pollutants annually. Photograph:  Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Beijing is stepping up efforts to fight pollution and this includes a new ban from the road on cars and other gasoline-powered vehicles that fail to m(...)

Liu Zhenmin, vice-foreign minister of China, has summoned the Burmese ambassador to Beijing after a Burmese aircraft dropped a bomb on Chinese territory. Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/EPA

China has summoned the Burmese ambassador for a meeting in Beijing after a bomb from a Burmese aircraft fell in Chinese territory and killed four Chin(...)