Kara Kohler earned a place on the US rowing team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

Kara Kohler won the women's singles sculls final at the United States Olympic rowing team trials at Nathan Benderson Park to book a place at Tokyo 2020. 

Five boat classes were contested during the five-day event in Florida, but only the victor of the women's single sculls had the opportunity to earn a place on the US team for this year's Olympics in Tokyo.

Kohler, the reigning world bronze medallist, edged past Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Gevvie Stone to triumph. 

As the two scullers crossed the 500-metre mark, they had open water on the remainder of the field, with Kohler slightly in the lead. 

Kohler used the second quarter of the race to extend her advantage and continued to pull away during the third 500m.

She eventually crossed the line in 7min 23.37sec, with Stone trailing in 7:27.17.

The 30-year-old Kohler previously competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, winning a quadruple sculls bronze medal, but was not selected for Rio 2016.

"It's a huge relief," she said. 

"I've worked incredibly hard the past few years to race the single in Tokyo, so there was a lot riding on today's race. 

"But, I had fun and trusted everything I've done up to this point. 

"So, that was what I was thinking about while racing - trusting my preparation, thinking about my teammates, my coach and my family."

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Gevvie Stone just missed out on earning a place at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Gevvie Stone just missed out on earning a place at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The winners in the men's single sculls, men's double sculls, lightweight women's double sculls, and lightweight men's double sculls will need to compete at the final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne in Switzerland from May 15 to 17. 

A second US Olympic rowing team trial event is scheduled to take place in West Windsor from April 12 to 16.

It will feature racing in the women's double sculls, men's quadruple sculls and men's pair.

It will also act as trials for the US Paralympic rowing team, with contests in the PR1 men's single sculls, PR1 women's single sculls and PR2 mixed double sculls.

The Olympics are scheduled to run in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 9, with rowing set to start on the first day of the Games at Sea Forest Waterway.

The US is the most successful country of all time in the Olympic rowing competition, claiming 33 gold medals, 32 silver and 24 bronze. 

It has not been as successful in Paralympic rowing events, with two silver and two bronze medals. 

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are due to run from August 24 to September 5, with the rowing events starting on August 27.