Scotland’s Jake Wightman admits his confidence is sky high as he chases a golden treble.
The 28-year-old, who won shock 1500m gold at the World Championships in Eugene last month, strolled through his Commonwealth Games heat on Thursday.
Wightman clocked three minutes 48.34 seconds to win at Alexander Stadium and comfortably reach Saturday’s final.
It was also the first time he has been announced – by stadium commentator, dad and coach Geoff – as the world champion since July’s victory in Oregon.
He said: “It was special, it was a confidence boost if you get announced as that. That’s the most it’s sunk in because that is what I was waiting for, to be announced as world champion, and be like ‘yeah I’ve actually done that’.
“It was nice walking around before with a lot of people coming up to me and saying ‘well done’.
Regarding the race, he said: “I felt I should dictate it at some point and I was surprised we went so slow as a second heat as there are guys who should go through as fastest losers who won’t.
“It’s hard to sometimes get motivated as there is a lot more to lose than gain so it’s good to go out there, feel good and qualify comfortably.”
Team-mate Josh Kerr, who won Olympic bronze last year, qualified in three minutes 37.84 seconds, with Scotland’s Neil Gourley progressing and England duo Elliot Giles and Stonier also through.
European champion Zharnel Hughes ran 20.30 seconds to win his 200m heat while Adam Gemili won his heat in 20.92 seconds.
Gemili, who split from coach Rana Reider – under investigation over multiple sexual misconduct allegations – just days before the Games, is aiming to move on from a disappointing World Championships where he failed to progress from the 200m heats.
He said: “I’ve put Oregon behind me, you can’t hang onto those things, it was a disappointing performance but you need to keep looking forward and this was always in the back of my mind to get some redemption.
“We need to host more events in the UK, you can see there absolutely is a market for athletics.”
Lawrence Okoye took silver in the discus final with a throw of 64.99m as Australia’s Matthew Denny took victory.
England’s Andrew Pozzi claimed bronze but Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell won the 110m hurdles in 13.08 seconds on Thursday evening.