Berlin - Kenenisa Bekele took a another step towards a first world championship long distance double when he made the 5,000 metres final on a Thursday featuring injuries and another possible world record from Usain Bolt.
The Ethiopian star won his heat in 13 minutes 19.77 seconds. Bekele got an Olympic double last year and on Monday won a fourth straight 10,000m world title.
American holder Bernard Lagat also advanced and so did ex-world champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.
The 110m hurdles title quest of Cuban Dayron Robles, by contrast, ended when he limped off in the semis. The world record holder and Olympic champion from Cuba got over two hurdles before the pain denied him to go on.
However, Robles was in good company as holder Brad Walker did not show up for pole vault qualifying due to hip problems and British world record holder Paula Radcliffe withdrew from Sunday's marathon because she is not 100 per cent in the wake of foot surgery.
In addition, Olympic pole vault champ Steve Hooker said he may not be competing in the final over hamstring problems despite qualifying with just one jump.
Bolt, however, was expected to be healthy as he was the top favourite for 200m gold and possibly attacking his world record of 19.30 seconds. The Jamaican set a stunning world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100m on Sunday.
Local hope Ariane Friedrich faced Blanka Vlasic in an intriguing women's high jump final, with the women's 400m hurdles and men's 110m hurdles finals also on the agenda.
The decathlon was due to be completed way behind schedule after a seemingly endless pole vault session. Trey Hardee of the US led with 7,306 points after eight events from Ukraine's Oleksiy Kasyanov (7,124).
Also on the agenda were the women#s 200m semi-finals and men's long jump qualifying. (dpa)