Curtis McGrath has lamented one of the worst races of his life but Australia's canoe sprint star is still a chance of defending his Rio gold medal in the kayak single 200m KL2.
McGrath is aiming to win two gold medals in Tokyo, hoping to successfully defend his Rio KL2 title and win the new VL3 category.
But on Thursday, McGrath finished third in his KL2 heat and instead of qualifying directly for the final will compete in Friday's semi-final.
"Difficult race for me - probably one of my worst in my life," McGrath told the Seven Network.
"I had a bit of a technical error with my rudder - (it) wasn't straight, it was drifting out of my lane and the rule is if you go out of your lane or the centre of your lane you get disqualified.
"It's better to have it happen in the heat rather than in the final so I just let it come back in and crossed the line and hoping for a good semi-final tomorrow."
McGrath' then bounced back by qualifying fastest in the VL3 category to proceed directly to that event's final.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.