A flawless opening run on the women's canoe slalom course has seen Luuka Jones comfortably qualify for the semifinals.

The Tauranga paddler has qualified fourth for the semifinals with her first-up effort in the first run good enough to see her advance.

Jones was sitting second after her penalty-free opening performance, just seven one hundreths of a second off leader Fiona Pennie of Great Britain.

But Italy's Stefanie Horn and Jessica Fox of Australia leapt ahead of the pair in the second run, and neither Jones nor Pennie could better their earlier efforts in their second attempt.

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Only the competitor's best time over the two runs is counted.

The semifinals will be held on Friday morning.