Usain Bolt offered evidence here tonight that he can finish his career at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships on the gold standard.
But the 30-year-old Jamaican’s victory in the men’s 100 metres first round in 10.07sec left him shaking his head in disapprobation at a poor start that left him fifth or sixth at the halfway point.
"That was very bad," Bolt said.
"I stumbled coming out of the blocks.
"I'm not very fond of these blocks - I think they are the worst ones I've ever experienced.
"I have to get this start together because I can't keep doing this.
"It's shaky - when I did my warm up, it pushed back.
"It is just not what I am used to - not as sturdy or firm.
"But the crowd is always wonderful - they always show me so much love and I always appreciate being here.
"I'm excited about getting through to that final and doing my job to my best."
Bolt, as so often before, provided the mid-race surge which did for his rivals, and slowed over the final 20 metres.
While there were the expected cheers for the sprinter who will end his career after these Championships, there was booing of an unexpected intensity for his perennial rival from the United States, the twice-banned Justin Gatlin, who won his heat in 10.05 and retained a fixed impassivity in the face of disapproval which he has had to come to terms with over recent years.
As things turned out, the only sub-10 seconds of the evening came from Bolt’s young compatriot Julian Forte, who ran a personal best of 9.99.
Second fastest on the night was the 22-year-old American runner who leads this year’s lists with 9.82, Christian Coleman, who clocked 10.01, despite slowing down over the final 15 metres
Jamaica’s 2011 world champion Yohan Blake, recently troubled by a groin strain, clocked 10.13 as he was beaten by Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, who ran a personal best of 10.05 into a headwind of 0.6 metres per second.
Two Olympic champions made an unexpectedly early exit – Jenn Suhr of the United States, who won the pole vault here in 2012, failed to progress to the final, as did her compatriot, Rio 2016 men’s long jump champion Jeff Henderson.
South Africa's Luvo Manyonga has the best four long jumps of 2017 to his name but his participation here was put in doubt by an ankle injury suffered in winning last month's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm.
The Olympic silver medallist had shown no significant form since - but a first-round effort of 8.12 metrs here sent him through.
Radek Juska of the Czech Republic produced the best result, 8.24m on a evening when eight men surpassed eight metres.
It is going to be a hell of a final.
Britain’s Laura Muir qualified handily for the women’s 1500m semi-finals, with the fastest qualifier being Ethiopia’s defending champion Genzebe Dibaba, who clocked 4min 02.67sec, just ahead of Sputh Africa’s Caster Semenya, who recorded a season’s best of 4:02.84 in the less familiar part of her projected double ahead of her defence of the 800m title.