The 49.86-second performance registered by McCorory in winning her semifinal section of the women's 400-meter race Sunday at the track and field world championships was the fastest of her life, supplanting the 49.96 she ran at the Herculis Meet at Monaco earlier this season.
McCorory, 24, edged Russia's Antonina Krivoshapka to disappoint the packed stadium of home fans.
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Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium, Â¿Â¿. Â¿Â¿Â¿Â¿Â¿Â¿Â¿, 24, Â¿Â¿Â¿. 1, Moscow, Russia, 119270
McCorory earned an Olympic gold medal in the 4x400 relay in the 2012 London Games, but she placed seventh in the individual 400 final. A year later, she is sharper and quicker.
"The PB (personal-best time) felt pretty easy," said McCorory, "and that must be a pretty good sign. The U.S. outlook for the final is looking pretty good right now, I'd say.
"I think we have a very good chance of putting two on the podium."
Running in the final with McCorory is Olympic teammate and South Carolina graduate Natasha Hastings, who advanced in 49.94 seconds.
"I'm still working on some things with my form, some things with my am swing," McCorory said. "It's making a big difference to me, especially down the home straight."
Claiming the gold will be a tough task with such veteran talents as Amantle Montsho of Botswana and Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain also in Monday's final. Monthso led all qualifiers in 49.54; Uhurougu ran 49.75.
Montsho won gold at the world championships in 2011. Uhurougu won it in 2007, then claimed gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Games.