Boise native and 2002 Bishop Kelly graduate Nick Symmonds finished third in his semifinal heat Tuesday at the London Olympics, but he advanced to the final based on his time.
The top two in each semifinal advance automatically and the top two non-qualifiers also move on.
Symmonds' time of 1 minute, 44.87 seconds was the fastest of any non-automatic qualifier. Kenya's David Rudisha, the world-record holder and heavy gold medal favorite, won Symmonds' semifinal in 1:44.35. Andrew Osagie of Great Britain finished second in the semifinal at 1:44.74.
The final is Thursday at 1 p.m. Mountain.
Symmonds, 28, did not get out of the semifinals at the 2008 Beijing Games. The five-time U.S. national champion has reached the final at the last two world championships.
Here are the finalists with country and qualifying time:
Mohammed Aman, Ethiopia, 1:44.34
David Rudisha, Kenya, 1:44.35
Abubaker Kaki, Sudan, 1:44.51
Nijel Amos, Botswana, 1:44.54
Timothy Kitum, Kenya, 1:44.63
Andrew Osagie, Great Britain, 1:44.74
Nick Symmonds, United States, 1:44.87
Duane Solomon, United States, 1:44.93