Olympic champion Usain Bolt and reigning world champion Tyson Gay both cantered through the heats of the men's 100m on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Saturday.
The first gold of the championships went Russia's way when Olympic champion Valeriy Borchin won the men's 20 km walk title, finishing ahead of China's Wang Hao and Mexican Eder Sanchez.
With the Olympic Stadium bathed in sunshine, Bolt timed 10.20sec to lead Jamaican compatriots Michael Frater and Asafa Powell into the quarters.
But former world record holder Powell, who took bronze in the Osaka worlds in 2007, almost paid the price for easing up too early, eventually finishing third in 10.38sec. The one shock result in the 12 heats came as the silver medallist from Osaka, Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas, failed to qualify after clocking 10.44sec.
In the US camp, defending triple world sprint champion Gay cruised through in the fastest heat time of 10.16sec along with his trio of team-mates Darvis Patton, Michael Rodgers and Monzavous Edwards.
But Gay complained after his heat that his ongoing groin injury had not quite healed.
"I feel okay but my groin felt a little sore," he said. "I just didn't want to waste too much energy getting through. I just wanted to play it safe."
Other pre-race favourites, Daniel Bailey of Antigua --- Bolt's training partner --- won his heat while Churandy Martina of the Dutch Antilles, fourth at the Beijing Olympics, qualified in third spot in his race.
Briton Dwain Chambers, the world indoor 60m silver medallist who is competing here after having served a two-year doping ban, recorded the second fastest time of the morning, coming home in 10.18sec.
In the women's 400m, American Sanya Richards struck the first blow in her bitter rivalry with Olympic and world champion Chrstine Ohuruogu, winning her heat in a conservative 51.06sec.
Panocha improves national mark
Mumbai: India started its campaign on a good note with walker Babubhai Panocha setting a national record. Panocha clocked 1 hour 23 minutes and 06 seconds in the 20km walk to improve upon his mark of 1:23:40 set at Jamshedpur in 2007.
Panocha finished 20th in a field of 51 athletes. After a sluggish start, Panocha was placed 32nd at the 5km mark but improved his position to 29th after 10 kms. He was 26th at the 15km mark before improving six places in the final five km.
Sushmita Singha Roy was placed 29th and last after completion of two events in the women's heptathlon. Roy had 1661 points after she clocked 14.55 seconds (902 pts) and cleared 1.62 metres in high jump (759).