Lisa Carrington has produced a blistering start to her K1 200m campaign to underline why she is the hottest of Kiwi favourites.
The two-time defending Olympic champion recorded the fastest time and the biggest winning margin among the five heats, advancing straight to tomorrow's semifinals.
Carrington is beginning a busy week in Tokyo and a top-two finish in this afternoon's heat - enabling her to skip past the quarter-finals - was essential in her aim of adding to her three Olympic medals.
But that was never really in any serious doubt, given Carrington is unbeaten in the shortest canoe sprint distance for a decade.
The 32-year-old started strongly in the heat and quickly separated her boat from her rivals, soon stopping the clock at 40.715 seconds.
Trailing in her wake was Russian Svetlana Chernigovskaya, second in a time of 41.540, while the second-fastest qualifier from the heats was Teresa Portela of Spain (40.812).
Carrington has little time to recover before she is back in action, set to race in the K2 500m heats with Caitlin Regal at 2.29pm.