Kenny breaks Hoy's record
Great Britain's Jason Kenny was in prime position to challenge for gold in a weakened men's sprint after setting a new Olympic record.
Kenny thrilled with a ride of 9.713 seconds in qualifying to top the seedings for the blue riband event and better reigning Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy's mark of 9.815secs - set in his charge to gold in Beijing four years ago.
That handed the 24-year-old a bye to the last 16, where he eased past South African Bernard Esterhuizen in a comfortable 10.363 to set-up a head-to-head with Azizulhasni Awang in Sunday's quarter-finals.
But while Kenny's performance left Team GB with yet more to celebrate on the track, the action also served to cast the spotlight on a controversial decision by the International Cycling Union and International Olympic Committee to limit each competing nation to just one entrant.
That alteration has left the Olympics with a field severely less impressive than the one which lined up at the World Championships in Melbourne earlier this year.
The most stark victim of the one-rider rule is Hoy, who lost out in a head-to-head selection battle with the man he edged into second in Beijing.
The Scot, who teamed with Kenny and Philip Hindes to win team sprint gold on day one of competition, has backed the selection but there is little doubt his presence would have raised the stakes in the velodrome's marquee event.
If Hoy privately curses the decision to expand the international presence in the sprint at the expense of some of the world's top performers, he is unlikely to be alone.
In Melbourne, the likes of France's Kevin Sireau, Australia's Matthew Glaetzer and Germany's Stefan Botticher were among 10 men to beat the 10-second barrier in qualification, but for London they were overlooked by their national associations.
As a result, the 200m flying lap yielded just three qualifying scores below 10 seconds - with Frenchman Gregory Bauge (9.952) and Australian Shane Perkins (9.987) coming in behind Kenny.
Indeed, with so many frontline sprinters absent from the start line, Great Britain's omnium rider Ed Clancy actually produced the fourth quickest 200m of the morning session.
Clancy, not considered a specialist sprinter, was actually timed at 12.556 over one lap as he topped the points table in the first of his six races but the time splits showed him clocking 10.035 with 200m gone.
Kenny's stellar performance in the penultimate ride of the qualifying session saw him earn what could have been an important bye into the last 16.
That allowed him to avoid an additional run against one of the repechage riders, theoretically giving him an edge over main rival Bauge, who squeezed him out for gold in the the World Championships.
Yet farce ensued as the Frenchman's scheduled second-round opponent, bottom seed Zafeirios Volikakis of Greece, failed to show up.
With 17 men in the draw, Volikakis wrongly believed his time of 10.663 had ended his interest in the competition and left the building.
Despite protestations from his team, who were appealing for more time to restore their man to the track, he was disqualified, leaving Bauge uncontested.
Kenny's next appearance was also somewhat peculiar, as he set out on half a lap at walking pace to formally maintain his place in the contest.
When he next appeared for a competitive race in the afternoon he rode within himself to see off Esterhuizen and is on course to meet Bauge in Monday's final.