Medal hopeful Wilson, who is also now the American record holder after her 1:55 run in Monaco, took no chances with her run in heat one, coming through in a powerful 57.83 seconds and winning in 1:59.21.
Her training partner Charlene Lipsey tried to duplicate that effort in heat two, splitting 400m in 58.98, but it proved to be fruitless against Rio gold medalist Caster Semenya who sprinted away for the top spot. Angelika Cichocka of Poland edged her out for the second and final auto-qualifier. Lipsey led the time qualifiers with her 1:59.35, but she would have to wait and see if the heat three runners would knock her out.
Lipsey was rewarded for her pace-pushing efforts as heat three, despite containing the Olympic silver and bronze medalists in Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, was not fast through 400m in 1:00.89 and did not yield any time qualifiers. Unfortunately that meant that Brenda Martinez, who ran a brave race passing Wambui in the last 100m, would ultimately not make the final as Wambui passed her again to finish second.
Here are the qualifiers for the final:
|1||Caster SEMENYA||1:58.90 Q|
|2||Ajee WILSON||1:59.21 Q|
|3||Angelika CICHOCKA||1:59.32 Q|
|4||Charlene LIPSEY||1:59.35 q|
|5||Lynsey SHARP||1:59.47 q|
|6||Melissa BISHOP||1:59.56 Q|
|7||Francine NIYONSABA||2:01.11 Q|
|8||Margaret Nyairera WAMBUI||2:01.19 Q|