Vadim Korobov was among the winners of the heats at the Canoe Sprint Global Olympic qualifier in Barnaul ©Getty Images

Singapore’s Stephenie Chen moved a step closer to securing a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after winning her heat at the Canoe Sprint Global Olympic qualifier in Russian city Barnaul.

Chen narrowly missed out on a Olympic quota at the Asian qualifiers but is refusing to give up as she advanced to the final of the women’s K1 200 metres.

The Singaporean won the third and final K1 200m heat after finishing in 44.896secs.

Russia’s Natalia Podolskaia, a former under-23 world champion, and Slovakia’s Lisa-Maria Gamsjager triumphed in the other two heats to join Chen in tomorrow’s final.

"Conditions are cold and windy, just a little bit different to what I am used to," Chen said.

"But I think I had an advantage with an inside lane.

"I’m not really nervous, just excited to see what I can do.

"I’m kind of an underdog here, so I’m trying not to focus so much on what might be, and more on what I can do best."

Athletes from all over the world battled it out today for a place in one of the six finals which offer an Olympic quota.

For the men, tickets will be available in the K1 200m, K1 1000m and C1 1000m, while the women will compete for the K1 200m, K1 500m and C1 200m.

Athletes from former Soviet states posted the strongest performances in the cold and windy Siberian conditions, posting the quickest times over the 200 metre distances.

Mariami Kerdikashvili of Georgia was quickest in the women’s C1 200m, one of the new Olympic events this year, with 52.193 while Podolskaia posted the fastest time in the women’s K1 200m with 43.224.

Ukraine’s Oley Kukharyk, the 2017 world bronze medallist in the men’s K1 500m, was fastest in the men’s K1 200m with 36.237.

Lithuania’s Vadim Korobov, the reigning European under-23 champion, notched an impressive time of 4min 0.0195sec in the men’s C1 1000m.

Italian Andrea Schera posted the quickest time in the men’s K1 1000m with 3:35.171 and Poland’s Justyna Iskrzycka, a silver medallist in the women’s K1 1000 at the 2019 World Championships, was fastest in the women’s K1 500m with 1:55.732.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow.