Laura Muir came out smiling from her first skirmish in a bid for Olympic gold in the women’s 1500m.

Having watched training partner Jemma Reekie reach the 800m final, a distance she dropped from her programme, Muir had to come through her heat in incredibly humid conditions.

The 28-year-old dominated the front of the race alongside another former training partner in Canadian Gabriela Debues-Stafford and finished second to seal safe passage.

“All of my flatmates have raced already so I was just really eager to go out there and start,” said Muir.

“It was quite quick but it felt fine. It didn’t feel that fast so that’s good. I just wanted to qualify for the next round as comfortably as possible.

“So that felt really good out there and I am looking forward to the semi-final.”

Muir went through 400m in a leisurely 1:07.7 and grasped the impetus alongside Debues-Stafford at the 800m mark.

Kenya’s Winny Chebet offered close company in the final stages but the pair could ease down, Muir finishing with 4:03.89.

The reigning European champion will be joined in Wednesday’s semi-finals by Team GB team-mate Katie Snowden, who ran a personal best of 4:02.77 to advance.

It has been a good start for the middle-distance women with Reekie, Keely Hodgkinson and Alexandra Bell all reaching the 800m final, the first time a Team GB trio have ever done so.

“It’s fantastic, I am so happy for all three of them,” Muir said of their achievement. “It’s brilliant that we’ve got that strength and depth there.”

Preparation has not been smooth for many British athletes with a number, including Dina Asher-Smith, revealing they have carried injuries into the Games.

Others saw final build-up impacted by pandemic regulations with six track & field stars assessed as close contacts of a Covid-19 case and training from self-isolation at a holding camp.

Muir said: “It’s gone as smooth as it could be – I’ve been out in Japan for a couple of weeks now so feeling really prepared and it’s really good.”

On her approach to Wednesday’s semi-finals, with the final coming on Friday, Muir said: “The aim will just be to qualify, hopefully as comfortably as possible.

“You don’t want to have any disrespect to any of the girls out here, but I want to save as much as I can for the final.”

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