Britain's Charlotte Henshaw will race in the women's KL2 event in Szeged ©IPC

More than 50 slots at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be on offer as the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Paracanoe World Championships begin in Szeged in Hungary tomorrow.

Britain's Charlotte Henshaw and Australian Curtis McGrath are tipped for glory at the Maty-ér racecourse.

As a two-time Paralympic swimmer and reigning world champion, Henshaw is in her third Paracanoe season and won a first European Championship title earlier this year.

Having also won at the KL2 World Cup, she is strongly fancied to be in the medal shake-up.

McGrath will target two Paralympic medals in 2020 after the Va'a boats were added to the Tokyo 2020 programme.

Competitors cannot earn individual berths in Tokyo during the championships, but national quota places, with 30 male and 24 female positions up for grabs.

Each athlete can only earn one quota for their country, no matter how many events they contest in Szeged.

The top-six finishers will earn those quotas. 

The remaining Paracanoe quotas will be allocated at next year’s World Championships in Duisburg in Germany.

Curtis McGrath of Australia will be defending his KL2 and VL3 world titles in Szeged ©Paddle Australia
Curtis McGrath of Australia will be defending his KL2 and VL3 world titles in Szeged ©Paddle Australia

Rio 2016 Paralympic KL2 gold medallist McGrath won the KL2 and VL3 disciplines at the last two World Championships.

"Tokyo will be one year away on August 25 so it does make the World Champs a little more significant," said McGrath.

"Having that milestone is a great motivator to perform at Worlds and get Australia qualified for some spots in the Games.

"I am hoping to get two gold medals but a lot can happen in one year so we will see. 

"It’s an exciting time ahead."

Brazilian Igor Tofalini is also targeting VL2 success in Hungary, while Maryna Mazhula and Serhii Yelemlianov could take a golden double for Ukraine.

Makhula caught international attention by winning the 2018 World Championship title in the women’s KL1 event.

Yelemlianov is the reigning world and Paralympic champion and won the Poznan World Cup and European Championship KL3 title earlier in the season.

The ICF Paracanoe World Championships will conclude on Saturday (August 24).