Defending champion Liam Heath advanced the semi-finals of the Men’s Kayak Single 200m, posting an Olympic-best time in the process.
Heath, the victor in Rio five years ago, surprisingly failed to go straight through to the semis after suffering a shock loss in the heats.
That defeat meant he had to race for a second time on Wednesday, but it did not do him any harm as he powered through his quarter-final.
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It was a tough quarter-final on paper, with Evgenii Lukantsov and Mark de Jonge in opposition.
There was no hiding place, with only two to go through, so Heath went out hard from the gun.
He built up an early lead and powered his way to the finish. The course has been conducive to fast times, and Heath stopped the clock in a record time of 33.985.
“In some ways this will have done him some good,” Malcolm Johnson said on Eurosport commentary. “He is now back in that zone, and doing that time under 34 seconds will have given him a lot of confidence.”
Heath will return on Thursday looking to win the title and take the K1 200m title for the final time, with it not being included for Paris 2024.
Deborah Kerr advanced to the semi-finals in the Women's Kayak Single 500m after taking third in her quarter-final, but Emily Lewis missed out after a fourth-placed finish.
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