Aust kayak crews paddle into semis

Australia's men's team has qualified directly for the K4 500m semi-finals at the Tokyo Games.
Australia's men's team has qualified directly for the K4 500m semi-finals at the Tokyo Games.

Australia's canoe sprint paddlers are chasing more Olympic medals in Tokyo with the men's K4 crew moving straight through to the semi-finals.

Following Thursday's shock gold medal triumph in the K2 by Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen, the K4 crews took to the water on Friday morning in heats of the 500 metres race.

The men's team includes two former medallists - Murray Stewart, who won gold in the K4 1000m in London, and Lachlan Tame, who won bronze in the K2 1000m in Rio.

They are joined by Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood.

The Australians couldn't catch the pace-setting German team, but held off Belarus for second spot, with the top two crews skipping the repechage round in a blessing given the scorching conditions.

It's the first time this event has been raced, replacing the K4 1000m, with the medals decided at Sea Forest Waterway on Saturday.

The women's crew of Shannon Reynolds, Catherine McArthur, Jo-Bridgen-Jones, Jaime Roberts finished fourth in their K4 500m heat but booked a semi-final berth with a fifth place in the repechage race.

Josie Bulmer and Bernadette Wallace, who are Australia's first ever female canoe athletes, missed advancing in the C2 500m.

Australian Associated Press