Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin looked in fine form as they ran the fastest times of the 200 metres semi-finals on Wednesday to set up a mouthwatering second sprint showdown at the world championships.
Bolt, who beat Gatlin when they clashed for the first time this year in the 100 metres final, looked relaxed and took time to chat with a fellow competitor as he approached the line to win his heat with his first sub-20 second time of the year.
The 29-year-old, unbeaten in his favourite event at a major global championships since he won 200 metres gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said he still had something left in the tank for Thursday's final after clocking 19.95 seconds.
"Just a great time, it's gonna be a good run. I think overall should be tough run but I'm looking foward to my favorite run, I want to win. So that's my focus," Bolt told reporters afterwards..
"I think overall should be tough run but I'm looking foward to my favorite run, I wanna win. So that's my focus.
"Because like I told you guys I need runs and the three rounds of the 100mand then yesterday got me a better shape so the more I run, the better I fee and the smoother I'm gonna look so it's all about run."
Meanwhile in the javelin Julius Yego became the first Kenyan to win a field event at the world championships with a massive throw of 92.27m.
"It's so nice for me, I've never expected for that," he said. "I'm just happy to win the world champion javelin, so nice for me. I knew this year, you know throw over 90 meters was winning luckily enough I was the one who was throwing that.. .I'm so happy. World championship... I'm really happy."
The gloss was taken off Kenya's day though when it was announced runners Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary had failed drugs tests
"I can't evaluate that much," said Yego. "It's a shame. You know I really believe you can win clean so it's a shame to them. I can't make more comment on that but it's not good."
In the 400m Wayde van Niekerk ran the sixth fastest time ever to beat a stellar field and become the first South African to win a world championship sprint title.
The 23-year-old went hard from the start and held off reigning champion La Shawn Merritt of the United States down the home straight to claim the title in 43.48 seconds.
A personal best of 43.65 was worth no better than silver for Merritt, who stayed on the South African's shoulder around the final bend but could not find enough gas in the last 50 metres to overhaul him.
The South African collapsed onto the track exhausted at the end of the race and was taken straight off for medical treatment.
Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada finished third to claim bronze in 43.78, his best run of the year, ensuring the top three ran under 44 seconds for the first time at a world championships final.
"You know next year is Olympic year the whole world will be watching," said Merrit. "So it's a fast event right now, and it's an exciting event. I would say the most exciting event in the sport right now. A lot of younger guys come up and running fast. I still love the sport, I'm just as dedicated as I'm when I started . You know so going to next year everybody will train hard because the bar was set high this year, at these championship."
James added: "I'm expecting a lot of guys and challenges for next year, like next year is Olympic year so a lot of athletes will be extra motivated to make that finals and try to get on the podiums, so it's going to be very very competitive."