Paddler Tom Green leads Australian charge

Czech Republic's Josef Dostal has beaten Australian Tom Green in a heat of the K1 canoe sprint.
Czech Republic's Josef Dostal has beaten Australian Tom Green in a heat of the K1 canoe sprint.

Australia's Olympic canoe sprint debutant Tom Green was happy to let Rio silver medallist Czech Josef Dostal set the pace as he locked in a semi-final spot in the men's K1 1000 metres on Monday.

Green was the stand-out on a successful day of racing for the Australians, with all paddlers advancing through to Tuesday's racing, which will involve semi-finals and then the medal races on Tokyo's Sea Forest Waterway course.

The 22-year-old Queenslander, who is mentored by three-time Olympic medallist Ken Wallace, got off to a blistering start but said he was happy for Dostal to take the win, knowing that the top two paddlers avoided the repechage round.

Dostal was the fastest qualifier, with Green 0.215 seconds behind with the third quickest time of the five heats.

"The race went well, I was trying to get straight through to the semi so I was happy with that," Green said.

"I knew he (Dostal) wasn't going to let go the whole time so I just tried to position myself well to be able to stick in second.

"Josef is a very talented athlete and I knew if I could stay with him I should be pretty good."

Green was joined in Tuesday's semi-finals by teammate Jean van der Westhuyzen, who after a third in his heat backed up to win his repechage race later Monday.

The Australians, who will paddle together in the men's K2 1000m, will line up in the same semi-final.

Australia's two crews in the women's K2 500m were also pitted against each other in the repechage.

After a sluggish start Alyce Wood and Alyssa Bull, who finished eighth in the event in Rio, crossed the line in second spot behind Slovenia.

Australia's other duo, London Olympian Jo Bridgen-Jones and debutant Jaime Roberts were in fourth spot, picking up the final qualification spot in Tuesday's semi-finals.

Australian Associated Press