The Czech Republic's Eva Samková led women's qualification in the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup at Secret Garden ©Getty Images

Reigning International Ski Federation (FIS) Snowboard Cross World Cup champion Eva Samková topped qualification at the season opening competition in Zhangjiakou's Secret Garden, as the test event for Beijing 2022 continues.

The opening day of the event had seen ski cross competitors take to the course, with snowboard cross stars having their first opportunity to compete today.

Samková suggested she will be the athlete to beat again this season, with the Czech snowboarder achieving a time of 1min 25.09sec with her qualification run.

The effort was enough to top the standings and secure top seeding for the knockout stage of the competition.

Samková won three World Cup events last season on route to claiming the overall title and will hope for further success this campaign, before she aims to add to her Sochi 2014 gold and Pyeongchang 2018 bronze medals.

France’s Chloe Trespeuch was Samková’s nearest challenger in qualification, the Sochi 2014 Olympic bronze medallist ending 1.53 seconds slower.

Britain’s world champion Charlotte Bankes and reigning Olympic champion Michela Moioli of Italy completed the top four in qualification.

Bankes was 2.31 seconds off the pace set by Samková, with Moioli a further 0.05 behind.

The top 16 snowboarders advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition, with the knockout stage due to take place on Sunday (November 28).

Men’s qualification was led by Canada’s Eliot Grondin, with the World Championship bronze medallist achieving a time of 1:20.43.

Germany’s Martin Noerl and Italy’s Omar Vistin completed the top three in 1:21.31 and 1:21.33 respectively.

Lorenzo Sommariva placed fourth in qualification with the Italian crossing the line in 1:21.62.

Austria’s Alessandro Haemmerle and Spain’s reigning world champion Lucas Eguibar safely advanced to the last 32 of the competition.

Haemmerle, seeking a fourth consecutive overall FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup title, was sixth in qualification in 1:21.80.

Eguibar ended down in 24th in 1:23.36, but is set to feature in the latter stages of the competition.

Attention turns back to ski cross competition tomorrow.

World champion Sandra Näslund of Sweden and Switzerland’s Ryan Regez will seek to justify their status as top seeds in the women’s and men’s events respectively.