Mo Farah survived another heart-in-mouth moment as he booked his spot in the final of the men’s 5,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
The Brit was nearly wiped out after being clipped by Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed with 150m remaining of heat two, but recovered to finish second in 13:19.44.
A trip was near-inevitable with the pack tightly bunched and only five automatic qualifying spots available.
Farah, who almost fell in the 10,000m before securing gold on Saturday, was in a commanding position throughout, but will be concerned at how close his double hopes were to ending by a trip.
“I tripped, somebody nearly took me down, just caught my leg,” Farah said in a trackside interview at the Bird’s Nest stadium.
“It happens, I have such a long stride, so often people catch my leg.”
He is also striving to repeat his 5,000m-10,000m double from the last World Championships and the 2012 London Olympics but is taking nothing for granted.
“That was good to get the heats out of the way, it was nerve-wracking,” Farah said.
“Sometimes you’re expected to get to the final but it doesn’t quite happen so it’s important that you take care of the rounds and get ready for the final.”
Farah’s team-mate Tom Farrell also qualified for the final after placing fourth in heat one.
Kenya’s Eunice Sum, the defending champion in the women’s 800m, easily won her heat to advance to the semi-finals of the two-lap event.
Sum won her heat in 1:59.67, the fifth best time overall, with Maryna Arzamasova of Belarus topping the qualifying in 1:58.69, just ahead of Britain’s Lynsey Sharp and South Africa’s Caster Semenya, the 2009 world champion.
American David Oliver, another defending world champion, set the quickest time in the heats of the men’s 110m hurdles, stopping the clock at 13.15.
He was just 0.10 ahead of his countryman Aries Merritt, the 2012 Olympic champion and world record holder.
In the men’s triple jump, Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo qualified first ahead of American Christian Taylor, the reigning Olympic champion.
Pichardo won the silver medal at the last world championships and topped the qualifiers with a leap of 17.43m, with Taylor second overall with 17.28.
Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, one of the biggest favourites to win gold in Beijing, topped the qualifiers for the women’s hammer throw.