The Rio 2016 Olympic Games Canoe Slalom course was in full flow today with many of the world's best challenging their skills down the technical difficult channel to provide a thorough competitive test ahead of next year’s Games.

Britain's David Florence led the way in the C1M with a blistering first run that provided the multiple-World Champion a healthy four-point-two-second margin over this season's top runner, Matej Benus (SVK). 

"It's absolutely awesome to be here," commented Florence following his morning's exploits. 

"For years and years since I knew Rio was getting the Games I have dreamed of coming here. I'm so impressed and I can't believe how absolutely amazing the course is with the favelas on one side and the green mountains on the other."

Benus halved the margin to the 33-year-old Brit at his second attempt, with Michael Jane (CZE) rounding out the top three spots.

Two paddlers eased under the 90-second barrier in the K1M with Russia's Pavel Eigel stopping-the-clock in 88.95 and then Hannes Aigner (GER) a shade behind with a score of 89.96.

Come back king, Peter Kauzer (SLO), fresh from his World Cup Series victory, again demonstrated impressive form and made light work of the new Olympic channel to secure third place and safe progression to the next round.

Other notable performances came from two of the youngest paddlers, 18-year-old Jakub Grigar (SVK), who qualified in a comfortable seventh, and 22-year-old Michal Smolen (USA) who concluded his day in eighth.

"It's been exciting trying to figure out all the crazy moves on this wild new course," said Smolen. 

Germany's Richard Funk's phenomenal speed over the course allowed her to lay down the second quickest run of the day despite racking up eight-seconds of time penalties following four gate touches.

Maialen Chourraut (ESP) was the only paddler to better Funk; the 32-year-old made half the amount of errors and finished with a zero-point-five margin ahead of the young German.

London 2012 Olympic Champion, Emilie Fer (FRA) was the only competitor to negotiate the course clean from those that selected to take a second run; paddling cautiously the talented French athlete secured the third best K1W time of the day.

The German duo of Robert Behling and Thomas Becker also showed good from and topped the C2M table with a run of 105.23.

All C2M boats picked up time penalties negotiating the gates.

The action continues tomorrow with semifinal starting at 9:15 following the forerunners.

For complete results and schedule - click here  

Canoe Slalom