Halima Nakaayi showcased her prowess with a remarkable time of 1:59.68, outpacing Adelle Tracey of Jamaica (1:59.82) and France's Ranelle Lamote (2:00.2).
The victor of the 2019 Doha World Championship, Nakaayi, is determined to surpass her previous record, especially after an unanticipated absence from the finals in Oregon last year.
Her eighth-place finish, clocking in at 2:01.05, has only fueled her determination to excel.
Meanwhile, reigning world champion Athing Mu, who dominated in Oregon, continued her formidable streak by topping her heat with a time of 1:59.59. She outshone Natoya Goule-Toppin of Jamaica (1:59.64) and Lore Hoffmann of Switzerland (2:00.14), securing a semi-final spot.
Athing Mu's participation in the championships took a turn after a contemplative moment, ultimately choosing to grace the track in Budapest.
Kenya's world bronze medalist, Mary Moraa, won in her heat, clocking in at 1:59.89.
The USA's Raevyn Rogers followed closely with a time of 2:00.06. Ethiopia's Worknesh Mesele secured her passage to the next round with a third-place finish, posting a time of 2:00.13.
Maintaining her status as the world leader, Keely Hodgkinson, who also holds both world and Olympic silver medals, triumphed in her heat with a time of 1:59.53. She narrowly outpaced South Africa's Prudence Sekgodiso.
The swiftest time in the heats was set by Nia Akins from the USA, who finished with an impressive time of 1:59.19.
As the competition intensifies, Nakaayi is poised to face formidable adversaries in Hodgkinson, Moraa, and Athing Mu, as they all vie for the coveted gold medal.