Roman Polianskyi will seek to defend his men's single sculls title ©Getty Images

Roman Polianskyi will be out to defend his men’s single sculls title as Para rowing competition begins at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo.

The Ukrainian rower topped the podium at Rio 2016 by three seconds from Australia’s Erik Horrie.

Horrie beat his rival at the 2017 and 2018 World Championships after the Games, only for Polianskyi to win gold in 2019.

One of the key changes from Rio 2016 is the doubling of the distance of the event to 2,000 metres, matching the length of World Championship races.

"Most of the competitors, we all did the long-distance rowing," said Horrie.

"It's very similar to women's rowing, when that changed from 1,000m to 2,000m, and the athletes' shape and size changed.

"You can see within the actual category, especially the PR1s, male and female, the shape of the athletes have changed to accommodate the distance."

Norway’s Birgit Skarstein will be the favourite to win the women’s single sculls competition having gone unbeaten since 2017.

A new champion will be crowned in the event following the retirement of Britain’s Rachel Morris, who triumphed at Rio 2016.

Paralympic and World Championship bronze medallist Moran Samuel will hope to challenge Skarstein for the title.

Britain’s Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley will hope to defend their PR2 mixed double sculls crown.

James Fox is another defending champion from Rio to seek further gold in Tokyo, with the Briton forming part of a PR3 mixed coxed four event.