Lisa Carrington Wins Gold!
Canoe Sprinter Lisa Carrington won New Zealand’s fifth gold medal of the 2012 Olympics with a superb effort in the women’s K1 200 at Eton Dorney. Carrington was a class ahead of some very highly-rated opposition and won in a time of 44.638s, giving her a 0.415s margin over second-placed Inna Osypenko-Radomska of the Ukraine. Hungarian Natasa Douchev-Janics, three times an Olympic champion and a strong tip beforehand, was third.
The race was paddled into a headwind, which Carrington felt might have been to her advantage. “I can count on my endurance so I was quite confident about that aspect,” she said. Carrington trailed the Ukrainian, who has won the Olympic K1 500 gold, initially but stormed through with a trademark strong finish.
The Bay of Plenty paddler is now the world and Olympic champion. “There was a bit of extra pressure coming here as the world champion,” she said. “But it gave me confidence, too.”
She was the fastest of the semi-finalists setting the Olympic best time of 40.528 seconds, but played down that aspect. “It was only by half a second. You can’t count on that.”
Racing so late in the Olympic programme, Carrington had a long wait before she competed in her specialty event, but she said she had been prepared for that.
“We knew the schedule, and anyway I was in the K2 500 with Erin [Taylor]. It was good for my nerves to get out there and compete in that.”
Though the K1 200, a new event on the Olympic programme, is over so quickly amid a swirl of paddles, Carrington said there was still the opportunity to judge progress. “I had a good gauge, but it’s hard when it’s your peripheral vision because it feels as if you’re always behind.”
She said she felt she had gone to the lead near the end. “Yes, I felt ahead and when I crossed the line I knew I’d won.”
The popular paddler was watched by a large group of family and friends and also by a number of other New Zealand Olympians who made the trip to Eton Dorney to help celebrate another of New Zealand’s great sports triumphs. It is the first canoeing gold medal won by New Zealand since 1988 and the first ever by a woman, and means New Zealand has now won 13 medals at the Olympics, equal to the record haul at Seoul in 1988, though this time with more golds.
Information on Lisa
Lisa Carrington MNZM (born 23 June 1989) won gold in the Women's K-1 200 metres at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as gold in the same event at the 2011 Canoe Sprint World Championships.
Born in Tauranga, Carrington was raised in Ohope Beach, a satellite town of Whakatane in the eastern Bay of Plenty, and is of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki and Ngāti Porou descent. She attended Whakatane High School, and Massey University in Albany.She is coached by Gordon Walker.
Carrington was chosen New Zealand's Māori Sportsperson of the year in November 2012, and senior Māori sportswoman of the year.Carrington was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 New Year's Honours, for her services to kayaking.
In June 2009 she won a bronze medal at the World Cup regatta held in Szeged, Hungary, competing alongside Teneale Hatton in the women's K-2 1000 metres event. In May 2010 the pair won the gold medal in the same event at a World Cup regatta in Vichy, France.
Carrington and Hatton won three gold medals at the 2010 Oceania Canoe Championships; they won the 500 and 1000 metres K-2 events and were joined by Rachael Dodwell and Erin Taylor to win the K-4 500 metres. The pair became the first New Zealand women ever to reach a World Championship A final at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Poznan, Poland;.Their time of one minute 42.365 seconds in the semifinals meant they qualified third fastest for the final of the K-2 500 metres, however they finished the final in ninth position.
At the 2011 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged, Carrington won the gold medal in the women's K–1 200 metres event; and became the first New Zealand woman to win a canoeing World Championship title. The result secured an Olympic qualification berth for New Zealand. She was also honoured with the Māori Senior Sports Woman of the Year Award.
At the 2012 Oceania Championships Carrington won gold medals in the K-1 200 metres and in the K-2 200 metres with Erin Taylor.
Carrington was selected to represent New Zealand at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom, in the K-2 500 metres alongside Taylor, and individually in the K-1 200 metres. She and Taylor came 7th in the K-2 500 metres. Carrington won the gold medal in the K-1 200 metres event, after setting a new Olympic record time of 40.528 seconds in her semifinal.
2012 Olympic Squad
The 2012 Olympic squad was as follows:
Steven Ferguson & Darryl Fitzgerald - Mens K2 1000m Final
Darryl Fitzgerald and Steven Ferguson finished seventh in the Olympic men’s K2 1000 kayak final at Eton Dorney. Fitzgerald and Ferguson made a slow start and trailed the field at the halfway point, but came home strongly. They were timed at 3min 12.177s. The race was won by Hungarians Rudolf Dombi and Roland Kokeny in 3min 09.646, just ahead of the Portuguese pair of Fernando Pimenta and Emanuel Silva. Ferguson, a 32-year-old Aucklander, was at his fourth Olympics. Fitzgerald, 21, comes from Gisborne and described his first Olympic experience in London as a huge learning curve. They are a relatively new combination. Ferguson said he and Fitzgerald were happy with how they put their race plan into operation in the final. “We wanted to finish with a surge over the last 250 metres. That’s when some of the paddlers start dying out there. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite have it. “We gave it everything and did as well as we could.”
Erin Taylor & Lisa Carrington - K2 500m
Lisa Carrington and Erin Taylor worked their way into the women's K2 500 Olympic kayak final at Eton Dorney. The New Zealanders finished third in their heat in 1min 44.870s to progress to the semi-finals. They were eighth fastest of the crews to go through. In the semi-finals, Carrington and Taylor needed to finish in the first four of their race to make the final. They duly did so, coming fourth in 1min 42.764s. They had a margin of 0.4s over the fifth-placed Belarusian pair.
Carrington and Taylor qualified seventh fastest of the eight finalists. They covered the first 250 metres of their semi-final in 50.11s and came home in 52.65s.
The fastest finalist was the German pair of Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze, who scorched through the 500 metres in 1min 41.543s.
Taylor said she and Carrington were “stoked” to make the final, but said they realised they would have to go faster again if they were to figure among the medals.
The duo gave it their all with a text book start and a mid-pack position down the length of the course. They dropped back slightly however towards the end of the race and were unable to close the gap finishing 7th in a time of 1:46.290. Although they will be disappointed not to have secured a medal they can be proud of their achievement and their improved world ranking gain in the past year. This field was extremely experienced and the New Zealand crew is a relatively young combination having only raced together for the past year.