The 31-year-old Edwards has been bothered by a heel injury for the last six weeks. His silver means that Britain's last realistic hope of a gold medal lies in tomorrow's 400 metres relay. Britain have won at least one gold in each of the five previous world championships.
Yesterday's triple jump gold went to the Cuban Yoelvis Quesada with a jump of 17.85m. Edwards' leap of 17.69m secured his silver and another Cuban, Aliecer Urrutia, claimed the bronze in 17.64. Edwards also had to settle for silver at the Olympics in Atlanta last year.
Meanwhile, Trinidad's Ato Boldon claimed the first of what promises to be many major titles with a searing victory in the men's 200m. Boldon, who was disappointed at finishing fifth in the 100m after complaining of muscle problems in his legs, came off the bend in front and stretched his lead over the last 100 metres to win by some five metres.
The Olympic bronze medallist could afford the luxury of raising his arms in triumph as he crossed the line in 20.04sec. Namibia's former world champion Frankie Fredericks, who finished second at the last championships in 1995, took the silver again in 20.23.
There was further disappointment for Jamaica's Merlene Ottey, who was beaten in the women's 200m by the fast-finishing Ukranian Zhanna Pintusevich. Ottey made a superb start and looked on course for the title as she led for the first 150 metres, only to lose out with the finishing line in sight.
Pintusevich took the gold in 22.32 while Ottey then had to settle for bronze in 22.40 as she was outdipped on the line by Susanthika Jayasinghe, who claimed Sri Lanka's first-ever championship medal in 22.39.
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