Jessica Judd qualified impressively from her 800m semi-final, taking the lead with 300m remaining and holding it to the line.
In a race featuring one the the medal favourites Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, Judd accelerated away from the field in the final 100m to win in a time of 2:02.26 with the Kenyan struggling down in seventh.
It was Jamaica's Natoya Goule who set the pace on the opening lap at a rain-soaked Hampden Park with Judd happy to stay on her shoulder in third, just outside of local girl Emily Dudgeon.
As the bell went for the final lap, Judd made her move and assumed the lead around the first bend. Dudgeon appeared to be closing down the back straight and as they rounded the final bend it looked as if Judd may have have gone too soon.
However, Judd kicked again and moved effortlessly away from the field to cross the line and secure her place in the final.
Winnie Nanyondo came through to take second, the Ugandan just edging out New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin with Dudgeon fourth and narrowly missing out on a fastest loser place.
In the first heat gold medal favourite Eunice Sum eased through with a time of 2:01.38 having worked her way to the front early and running her own race as the battle for the final two automatic qualifying places went on behind her.
Scotland's Lynsey Sharp finished fourth but her time was quick enough earn a place in the final on Friday.