After Commonwealth champion Lacena GoldingClarke was charged with a false start in the opening semifinal, the Jamaican sped away quickly, along with two-time European indoor champion Patricia Girard of France. The pair controlled the race over the first two hurdles, until European under-23 champion Susanna Kallur of Sweden began to accelerate.
Kallur took the lead over the fourth hurdle and held it into the finish for a 7.98 victory, as Girard (8.00) and Golding-Clarke (8.01) followed closely.
The final qualifying spot from the first heat went to Melissa Morrison of the US in 8.05.
Gail Devers converted her usual good start into a brilliant 7.80 clocking, a new Championships record, to win the second semifinal, one which had nine entrants due to the reinstatement of a previously disqualified entrant.
Coming up on the US champion near the finish was Spain’s Glory Alozie, who placed second with a national record of 7.83.
France’s Linda Ferga-Khodadin (7.97) and Brigitte Foster (7.98) took the last two spots in the final, to be contested on Sunday.