Aberdeen's David Florence was left with work to do after hitting two gates in his first run in the canoe slalom on Sunday.
World number one Florence recorded a time of 101.60 seconds at Lee Valley White Water Centre in Broxbourne to leave him sitting in 13th place.
There were loud cheers, despite some empty seats, as the 29-year-old Scot negotiated the course, which he has practised on for the last 18 months.
Following his two gold medals in the C1 category in the world cup meetings in Cardiff earlier this year, Florence is looking to add to his silver in Beijing four years ago.
Slovenia's Benjamin Savsek set the early pace as he led after the first run with a time of 90.83 seconds.
The 25-year-old, making his Olympic debut, smashed 5.24secs off Kynan Maley's opening marker.
Spain's Ander Elosegi made it into second place early on with a time of 93.24 after a clean run, before the favourites lined up to set the pace.
Germany's Sideris Tasiadis looked powerful in the water but hit four gates, incurring an eight-second penalty on his first run.
And Czech Stanislav Jezek, although he did enough to qualify, could not make an impression on the lead.
Michal Martikan, of Slovakia, who won his country's first ever gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics, suffered an early scare when he missed gate 12, incurring a 50-second penalty.
Having also won in Beijing, he must now secure a clean run in his second heat to secure passage to the finals and defend his crown.
But he can be encouraged by the fact that had the penalty not counted he would have secured the fastest time in the first run of the day.
Frenchman Tony Estanguet also found it difficult to get to grips with the course, posting a time of 93.24 and securing third place.
Ireland's Eoin Rheinisch initially stormed in to the lead in the K1 category, posting a time of 91.27 seconds.
The 31-year-old from Letterkenny, County Donegal, came fourth in the 2008 K1 final, Ireland's best ever performance in the competition.
Britain's Richard Hounslow looked confident as he made his way down the course but he hit gate 13 and registered a time of 94.40.
In rowing, Edinburgh's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland were successful in the women's lightweight double, dominating their heat to win by clear water and cruise into the semi-finals.
The British women's eight finished third in a heat dominated by the United States and must come through Tuesday's repechage to reach the final.
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