Favorites cruise at heats on opening day at worlds
By Nick Mulvenney
BEIJING (Reuters) - World record holder David Rudisha of Kenya and Ethiopia's defending champion Mohammed Aman cruised through the heats for the 800 meters on a hot and humid opening morning at the world athletics championships in Beijing on Saturday.
Commonwealth Games champion Nijel Amos of Botswana also safely moved through to Sunday's semi-finals with victory in a time of 1 minute 47.23 seconds in the first heat at the Bird's Nest Stadium.
"It was a good run, I wanted to stay out of trouble. I take each round as it comes. It is a bit hot here but we can cope," he said.
Olympic champion Rudisha led from start to finish as he clocked a time of 1:48.31 in the sixth and final heat which was also surprisingly the slowest.
"I have qualified and now I am looking forward to the final," he said of his showdown with Amos and Aman.
"I know it is going to be hard. I know my power is back. My problem before was my finishing speed."
The diminutive Aman offered 1 min 47.87 in a physical and competitive second heat featuring lots of jostling for position.
Earlier, Aman's compatriot Genzebe Dibaba had no such troubles negotiating the heats of the women's 1,500m as she clocked a best time of 4:02.59 across the three heats. Continued...