Valeriy Filipchuk showed he is not just an accomplished road walker when striding out down the backstraight, he pulled marginally away to win the World Junior track 10,000m title ahead of Zelin Cai in the Stade de Moncton on Friday.
Filipchuk third at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in May, on switching back to the track posted a World leading mark of 40:43.17 as he held off Cai who recorded a personal best 40:43.59.
The winner's Russian team-mate Petr Bogatyrev, who was dropped by the pair with 250m remaining, also produced his fastest ever time of 40:50.37.
Chai who prevented a one-two for the Russians as occurred in the women's race, along with the pair dominated the contest over the final three kilometres, the trio circuiting the stadium very quickly on each lap in their quest for gold.
He was at that point sandwiched between his two rivals but hitting the front again at nine kilometres, he began to wind up the pace hoping to rid himself of the Russian challenge.
When on the last lap Filipchuk the Russian champion moved into the lead, Chai responded to the change of pace although Bogatyrev started to go backwards.
Filipchuk entering the final straight had what looked a winning lead, but Chai didn't throw in the towel and continued to challenge, just losing out at the line by just 0.42.
Meredith and Martinot-Lagarde impressive in hurdles heats
World 110m Hurdles leader Jack Meredith had plenty in reserve as he expended as little energy as possible when winning his qualifying heat when bright sunshine returned to the stadium after Thursday's soaking wet conditions.
Meredith who set his British record of 13.32 when winning at the Bislett Games in Oslo at the beginning of June, went through the motions to progress in to tomorrow's semi finals in a time of 13.77.
"I was itching to come to the track all week," said Meredith who looked easy despite clipping a couple of the hurdles."It was nice. I got my first one out of the way, got my legs moving, woke me up."
But so too did Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Vladimir Vukicevic who last year's World Youth silver medallist believes will be his biggest rivals to lift the gold medal in Sunday afternoon's final.
Martinot-Lagarde produced a faultless display of 13.53 to convincingly win his heat only to see Vukicevic go even faster in the next and final qualifier.
The Frenchman said: "A good race but I don't like to run in the morning. It worked out well though. I eased up at the end and still had a good time. It's promising for what's next."
Vukicevic the younger brother of Christina, Norway's top hurdler, skimmed the barriers to record the fastest time of the session with a clocking of 13.49.
He said: "It was a pretty easy run. I was running with low shoulders and just relaxing. I kept up the speed and sped up a little at the end."
The American pair of Caleb Cross and Jonathan Cabral also indicated they have the ability to achieve podium positions when winning their heats in PB's of 13.56 and 13.63.
Kenyans mean business in Steeplechase opening round
Albert Yator aiming to continue Kenyan domination of the 3000 steeplechase where the east African nation apart from Spain's Juan Azkueta winning the inaugural Championship title in 1986 when the distance was over two kilometres, has triumphed ever since.
The 16-year-old didn't hang around setting a brisk pace with only Afewerk Mesfin going with him until the Ethiopian was caught by the chasing pack with a kilometre of the race remaining.
Yator after kilometre splits of 2:46.90 and 5:41.13, built up a lead of around 50m, going on to win in a time of 8:40.92, well clear of Kosei Yamaguchi of Japan and Spain's Abdelaziz Merzougui who clocked 8:49.74 and 8:53.96.
"I didn't think it was a fast race, it was a very comfortable pace," said Yator before insisting: "I want the gold."
The second race which developed into a two horse contest between Jacob Araptany and Johnathan Ndiku the world leader, was even quicker as they ploughed through the first two kilometres in 2:45.20 and 5:40.53.
Ndiku the world's fastest this year was at the front of his Ugandan rival coming down the home straight and although qualification was guaranteed, Araptany jumped him on the line to win by 0.09 in a PB 8:28.14.
"When I'm running, I feel free, very free, the last stretch of the race was somewhat hard but I persisted," explained Araptany.
Ethiopia's Desta Alemu was next across the line also in a PB 8:38.04, then there was another gap before the next automatic qualifier Tanguy Pepiot came home in a time of 8:49.38.
Robby Andrews the fastest 800 performer in the world this season, left himself plenty to do before moving into the 800m semi finals although finishing second in his heat.
Andrews was lying fourth coming off the bend in the first heat of the competition, but running wide he powered through to claim an automatic semi place behind France's Pierre-Ambroise Bosse who won by 0.20.
The American after getting out of trouble and clocking 1:50.80, said: "I didn't know what to expect - it's the World Championships."
First round 800 & 1500 metres
Kenya's David Mutua posted the quickest qualifying time, a season's best of 1:49.37 as Mohammed Al-Garni after his third place in the previous evening 's 1500m final also progressed.
The Qatari runner-up in his race with a time of 1:49.95, said: "I'm a bit tired after last night so the most important thing for me was just to qualify, that was my first test."
There was nearly a shock exit in the 1500 for Asmerawork Bekele the fastest woman in the field when she trailed in fourth in her heat after falling backwards on the approach to the bell.
The Ethiopian who coming into the home straight was slightly barged and fell off the leading pack eventually made it into the final as one of the fastest losers in 4:18.55.
"I found the race a bit tough, because I was ill recently," said Bekele. "I was pushed from behind. It didn't affect the outcome that much though, because I have my own problem."
Bekele who ran 4:08.30 in Huelva last month is still expected to be one of the main contenders for the gold medal in Sunday';s final along with teammate Tizita Bogale who she beat by 0.43sec in the Spanish race and the Kenyan pair of Nelly Ngeiywo and Nancy Chepkwemoi.
Bogale won the first heat in an untroubled 4:12.95 from Romania's Ioana Doaga who posted a PB 4:12.98 while Ngeiywo last year's World Youth gold medallist, ran her season's fastest of 4:13.00.
Chepkwemoi running enthusiastically in the third heat (where Bekele nearly became a cropper) clocked a personal best of 4:11.42 as she pulled Amela Terzic the runner-up to a Serbian record of 4:13.46 with third placed Briton Laura Weightman (4:17.11).
Qualifiers infield too
High Jump gold medal favourite Airine Palsyte along with her other two likely gold medal candidates Elena Vallortigara and Chiara Vitobello kept clean sheets when qualifying for Sunday's final.
Palsyte fourth at last year's World Youth Championships had no problems when needing to clear 1.81m to progress as did her two Italian rivals.
The trio's task to medal will be much easier through the absence of Mariya Kuchina and Alessia Trost who were not chosen by their respective Russian and Italian federations.
Andrius Gudzius the world discus leader saved face when on the precipice of elimination having produced a no throw and a poor effort of 55.57, produced the furthest of the qualifying rounds.
The Lithuanian finally getting his technique threw of 63.14m - the fourth time he has been over 63m this year, highlighted by his best of 65.51m at the end of June.
Five others bettered the automatic qualifier including the World Junior record holder Mykyta Nesterenko who threw 70.13m two years ago when still a youth.
The Ukrainian the bronze medallist in Bydgoszcz at the last championships, landed his qualifier of 60.90m with his first attempt as did Jamaica's Chad Wright (59.55) and Australian Julian Wruck (59.87).
Angelica Bengtsson who took the first step in her bid to adding another gold medal to the World Youth title she won a year ago in Bressanone is also aiming to achieve another ambition.
Bengtsson said: "My goal in this competition is to make the Swedish senior record," belonging to Kirsten Belin who vaulted 4.51m in 2002.
The Swede only needed a height of 3.95m to qualify for the final where the USA champion Shade Weygandt and Holly Bleasdale of Great Britain are also podium finish contenders.
David Martin for the IAAF