Cedric Joly of France won the opening men's C1 heat at a rain-swept Tokyo 2020 test event for canoe slalom today ©Getty Images

Driving rain put a damper on proceedings at the new Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, as the Tokyo 2020 test event got underway today.

In the C1 men's event, the opening heat was won by Cedric Joly of France in 101.84sec clear, with Canada's Cameron Smedley second, 3.44sec slower, and Lukas Rohan of the Czech Republic at 3.56.

The women's K1 opening heat saw victory for the Czech Republic's  Stepanka Hilgertova, who finished in 111.65sec, ahead of Maialen Chorraut of Spain, who was at 1.14sec, and Luuka Jones of New Zealand, who was 2.77 back.

As with test events in other sports, the canoe slalom competition is taking place under the "Ready Steady Tokyo" banner.

Heats in the women's C1 and men's K1 are scheduled for tomorrow.

Sunday (October 27) will see the semi-finals and gold-medal races in all four disciplines.

Constructed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre is the first of its kind for the sport in Japan.

It is one of eight new venues being built from scratch for Tokyo 2020 and cost ¥7 billion (£50.3 million/$64.3 million/€58 million).

The course, which is 200 metres in length and has a height differential of 4.5m from start to finish, complies with International Canoe Federation and Japan Canoe Federation guidelines.

Temporary seating will house up to 7,500 fans.

The canoe slalom competition at Tokyo 2020 is scheduled for July 26 to 31 next year.