Keely Hodgkinson won her first heat in Istanbul to begin defending her 800 m European indoor championship.
The Olympic silver medalist will now compete in Saturday’s semifinals alongside fellow Brit Isabelle Boffey.
Hodgkinson won the World Indoor Tour championship last week in a time that set a British record of 1 minute, 57.18 seconds, but on Thursday, her 2:01.67 was sufficient to win.
On Friday, Hodgkinson will be 21. “I’m thrilled to qualify and not with a messy race, just clean through,” he remarked.
“I’m actually fairly exhausted because sometimes running at that [slower] pace is harder than running at your normal pace.
“If I can hold onto my title, it will make a good birthday present for myself.
“I’m excited about it and I hope I can make everyone proud,” the speaker said.
How to access the European Indoor Championships live stream
British athletes Neil Gourley and George Mills, who recently broke a British record, will compete for their first major senior medals in Friday’s men’s 1500m final.
In other events, Melissa Courtney-Bryant and Hannah Nuttall advanced to the 3,000-meter final, and Guy Learmonth qualified for the men’s 800-meter semifinals.
The eighth-placed high jumper Morgan Lake will compete for a medal on Sunday morning.
The European Indoor Championships are broadcast live on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website, and app on Friday from 05:45 to 10:30 GMT and 15:30 to 19:00.