The Swiss 800 metres athlete, André Bucher, took another step towards the European Indoor title on Saturday.
The Swiss runner, who took gold at last year's World Championships in Edmonton, easily qualified for Sunday's European Indoor Championships in Vienna, Austria.
Bucher stole ahead of his nearest rival, Russia's Sergei Kochevnikov, to cross the finishing line with a time of 1'47"10.
"Everything is going as planned," said a confident Bucher after the race.
Close-fought final expected
Sunday's final is likely to be a close-fought race between Bucher and Poland's Pavel Czapiewski, who also qualified on Saturday.
Czapiewski, who booked his place in the final with a time of 1'50"04, finished third at Edmonton.
Four other athletes qualified for the 800 metres final: Russia's Kochevnikov and compatriot Dimitri Bogdanov, Luxembourg's David Fiegen and Spaniard Antonio Reina.
Swiss athletes performed less well in other indoor events, with Ivan Bitzi and Raphaël Monachon both failing to qualify for the finals of the 60-metre hurdles.
There was better news for 60-metre specialists Daniel Dubois and Martina Feusi, both of whom progressed to Sunday's semi-finals.
swissinfo with agencies
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