LaVerne JonesFerrette of the US Virgin Islands led the qualifiers, but on the evidence of the semi-finals she faces a titanic tussle with Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown for gold in the final later today.
Campbell-Brown recovered from a poor start to blast to a season's best 7.07 in heat one. Behind her Paulette Zang Milama made history to become the first athlete from Gabon to qualify for a World Indoor final, setting a national record of 7.13 for second.
Tahesia Harrigan of the British Virgin Islands, the 2008 World Indoor bronze medallist, also advanced as one of the two fastest losers after placing third in 7.22.
Campbell-Brown a two-time Olympic 200m champion, was slow out of the blocks as Milama and Harrigan dominated the early stages. But Campbell-Brown refused to panic and ran down the opposition to signal her medal winning potential.
World No.1 LaVerne Jones-Ferrette looked in ominously good shape, winning heat two in an eye-catching 7.05. The 38-year-old veteran Chandra Sturrup, the 2001 champion, bagged the second automatic qualification in 7.20.
However, there was no place in the final for Mikele Barber of the US, sister of the 2006 champion Me'Lisa, who finished third and out of the automatic qualification places in 7.24. European Indoor champion Evgeniya Polyakova of Russia finished fourth in the same time and was also eliminated.
Age has not blunted Sturrup's lightning start and she was first out of the blocks, however, the Bahamian quickly had to concede her advantage to the magnificent Jones-Ferrette, who produced a totally dominant display.
The third and final heat provided a minor shock as pre-race favourite Carmelita Jeter, the World No.2, was edged out of the race win by 0.01 from Jamaica's Sheri-Ann Brooks (7.14).
Jeter made a deliberate start and Brooks quickly established a clear advantage. The American rallied in the second half of the race but the Jamaican would not be denied.
French champion Myriam Soumare recorded 7.21 for third to advance as one of the two fastest losers.
Steve Landells for the IAAF