Chinese speedster Su Bingtian sailed through his Asian Games heat on Saturday as he saved his energy for an expected attempt on the continent's 100 metres record.
Su's 10.27sec was enough to win his heat but only the seventh-fastest time overall, and way off the 9.91 he clocked in June to equal Femi Ogunode's Asian record.
Su admitted he had made a slow start to the meet in Jakarta, but said he was relaxed about finding an extra burst of pace in Sunday's semis and final.
"There are many races later, so for me, this one does not need to be the best," he said.
"For me, I just need to have my normal performance, should not think too much," Su added.
Su's 9.91 is the fourth quickest worldwide this year, but the 28-year-old's coach says he has the potential to go under 9.80.
The biggest reception of athletics' opening night was for homegrown teenage sprinter Lalu Zohri, whose name was chanted by thousands of boisterous Indonesians packing one end of the stadium.
Zohri's rags-to-riches story has melted hearts in Indonesia after he stormed to a shock victory at last month's world junior championships -- becoming Indonesia's first ever medallist at the tournament.
Zohri was raised in a bamboo shack in the northern part of Lombok island, the area most severely hit by recent earthquakes that have killed 555 people.
The 18-year-old also clocked 10.27 to reach Sunday's semi-finals. Taiwan's Yang Chunhan was the fastest overall at 10.13.
Su shares the Asian record with Nigerian-born Ogunode, who represents Qatar and pipped him to gold in the last Asian Games 100m final.
Ogunode is not competing in Jakarta, but his younger brother Tosin fired a warning shot with an impressive 10.16 to top his heat, ahead of Rio 2016 semi-finalist Ryota Yamagata of Japan.