Two-time Olympic champion Chen Ruolin of China led the semifinals of 10-meter platform diving at the world championships.
After a slight bobble in the preliminaries led to a third-place showing, Chen took control the afternoon and totaled 373.65 points over her five dives on Wednesday.
Britain's Tonia Couch was next with 368.15, followed by China's Si Yajie at 341.85. Si was on top after the preliminaries but couldn't hold off Chen in the semifinals.
The top 12 advance to the final Thursday. They include Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia, last year's Olympic bronze medalist on the tower and American Victoria Lamp.
The silver medalist in London, Australia's Brittany Broben, was eliminated along with American Amy Cozad.
China has won five of the first six diving events in Barcelona.