World 15000m champion Timothy Cheruiyot, sailed into the semi-final in a quest for gold on Tuesday at the the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
Cheruiyot began fast as is typical of him and led for the majority of the race, only to ease off slightly at the end to finish second behind Belgium’s Ismael Debjani.
The 25-year-old missed the cut to compete in Tokyo after finishing fourth in the Kenyan trials in June and only made the team
Cheruiyot bounced back impressively, winning the Stockholm Diamond League and following that up with a terrific world-leading time of 3:28.28 victory in July in Monaco.
Another Kenyan Asbel Kipsang who comfortably won his heat to progress, clocking 3:40.68 will join on Thursday s semi-final.
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, third-fastest this year, kept his hopes for a medal alive after a slightly laboured race where he finished fourth, enough for a place in the next round.