Tokyo Olympics 2021: Max Brown, Kurtis Imrie form men's canoe sprint squad for Games

Canoe sprinters Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie will make their Olympic debuts in the K2 1000 at Tokyo.

The pair have been named as part of New Zealand's contingent heading to the Games - the first Kiwi paddlers selected for the 2021 Olympics.

Brown and Imrie enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2019, with a top-eight finish at the World Cup in Poland, before qualifying for Tokyo at the 2020 Oceania championships in Sydney.

Brown says booking his ticket to Tokyo is a dream eight years in the making.

"I'm absolutely stoked to have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games," Brown says. "As a young kid, I would never have dreamed I would be good enough to challenge at this level.

"I always felt like I had the least amount of talent with the boys I trained with, but I was prepared to be the hardest worker. I guess that's what matters most and that's the reason I've made it this far. 

"I hope lots of young Kiwis take inspiration in my journey and dare to dream."

Imrie is the younger brother of female kayak star Kayla Imrie - a three-time world championship medallist.

Kurtis Imrie says it's "surreal" to be selected for an Olympic Games.

"It's always been a dream to go to the Olympics," Imrie says. 

"Hopefully, I'll get to experience the Olympics alongside my sister Kayla, as that would be such a special moment for our family."