The powerful American, Aries Merritt, ran a smooth race to win in 13.65 (wind -0.3m/s), pulling his team-mate Kevin Craddock, in the adjacent lane, to second place in a new personal best of 13.74.
The two other qualifying places were taken by Eder Antonio Souza (BRA) in 13.98, and Darien Garfield (FRA) who set a personal best of 14.03. Nikolaos Filandarakis of Greece was disqualified before the start for a false start, the second of the race.
After a great start, Rodrigo Pereira of Brazil seemed to be heading for victory in the second semi when he clattered into the 9th hurdle, almost falling to the track, but fortunately was able to clear the last barrier and maintain his balance to cross the line in third, to qualify in 14.03.
China’s Lilu Liu and Cuba’s Dayron Robles, were the strongest finishers, passing Pereira before the 10th barrier, to finish second and third respectively in 13.94 and 13.98. The final qualifying spot was taken by Germany’s Jens Werrmann who finished fourth with a personal best of 14.18.
The talented young Frenchman Bano Traore clattered into the first hurdle and came to an abrupt stop.