RIO DE JANEIRO - Under a baking sun at the Lagoa Stadium the first canoe sprint races of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games got underway on Monday, with Olympic champions Sebastian BRENDEL (GER) and Lisa CARRINGTON (NZL) both progressing to their respective finals.

BRENDEL won his men's canoe single (C1) 1000m heat comfortably and CARRINGTON recorded the fastest semifinal time in the women's kayak single (K1) 200m.

London 2012 K1 200m silver medallist Inna OSIPENKO-RODOMSKA (AZE) was the second-fastest qualifier to Tuesday's final, but five-time Olympian Natasa DOUCHEV-JANIC (HUN) will not win a seventh canoe sprint medal after missing out in the semifinals.

BRENDEL is joined in the C1 1000m final by home favourite Isaquias QUEIROZ DOS SANTOS (BRA), who took a commanding lead in his heat to the delight of the crowd.

Murray STEWART (AUS) recorded the fastest qualifying time in the men's K1 1000m. STEWART was a gold medallist in the kayak four (K4) event in London but is focusing on the single in Rio.

World champion Rene HOLTEN (DEN) won his heat but scraped through the semifinal less than 90 minutes later.

In the women's kayak double (K2) 500m, London 2012 champions Tina DIETZE (GER)/Franziska WEBER (GER) enjoyed a comfortable heat win, although Danuta KOZAK (HUN)/Gabriella SZABO (HUN) recorded the fastest qualifying time in the other heat.

The Hungarian duo are also racing to defend their London 2012 title in the K4 500m.

Olympic medallists Mark OLDERSHAW (CAN) and Martin MARINOV (AUS) in the C1 1000m, and Adam VAN KOEVERDEN (CAN) in the K1 1000m, failed to make it through to the finals.

Tuesday's action

The first canoe sprint medals from Monday's semifinals will be handed out on Tuesday in a fast-paced morning of action starting at 09:00.

Brazilian fans will be hoping to see QUEIROZ DOS SANTOS pick up Brazil's first Olympic canoe sprint medal.

Canoe Sprint