Carrington's Olympic plans unchanged

Author -  Karen Simpson

Olympic kayakers Lisa Carrington (middle) and Marty McDowell (right) training with coach Gordon Walker. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Carrington's Olympic plans unchanged

Olympic kayakers Lisa Carrington (middle) and Marty McDowell (right) training with coach Gordon Walker. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services Lisa Marty Gordy.jpg
Lisa Carrington isn't letting a solitary loss disrupt her Rio Olympic plans as she heads into the final canoe sprint World Cup of the season this weekend.

Carrington was edged by reigning Olympic champion, Hungarian Danuta Kozák, in the K1 500m final of the first World Cup in Duisburg a fortnight ago.

Since then, the New Zealand world champion and fellow Olympian Marty McDowell have been training hard in Munich under coach Gordon Walker, skipping the second World Cup in the Czech Republic to focus on the third round in Portugal starting on Friday. Walker is happy with the progress over the last month and won't be changing anything in a hurry.

"We've got a training block planned between now and Rio and whatever happens at these World Cups won't change that," Walker said. "We always knew that Danuta would be back - as you see in a number of events, the cream starts to rise to the top in the very last part of the four-year cycle and the intensity gets really high for those medals. This week is really about trying to evolve our plan and improve on those little things we picked up in World Cup 1 and then take those into World Cup 3."

Carrington is targeting an ambitious K1 200m and 500m double in Rio and the enormity of that task was made clear in Duisburg. Though she dominated the shorter distance - she's now won 12 consecutive major title over 200m including the 2012 Olympics - Kozák's reemergence was the talking point in the 500m.

The 29-year-old couldn't even make the Hungarian team last year, with rising star Anna Kárász - second to Carrington at the world championships - preferred. But Kozák has stormed back this season, heading the Kiwi by 1.125secs in Duisburg, with 2008 Olympic champion Inna Osipenko-Rodomska (Azerbaijan) third just 0.072secs further back.

With just over two months until the Olympics start, Walker is acutely aware of the need for patience as he prepares his star charge, determined to use the World Cups as a chance to test and refine, rather than make wholesale changes.

"There's a long way to go between now and Rio. It's really about being in the best shape you can, once per year, and what it's going to take to do that is probably our biggest consideration. Testing ourselves at this World Cups is helpful to a degree but it's more important that internally we know what we're doing and we're confident we know where we're going on a day-to-day basis."

McDowell will open proceedings this week with his K1 1000m heats on Friday night (NZ time), having battled illness since arriving in Europe a month ago.

Walker's first consideration for the Wellingtonian is just to get him racing healthy.

"He was a little unwell before World Cup 1 and since then, he's had to back off quite considerably. We're just taking things day-by-day and hopefully if he comes right, he'll be able to get a good start at World Cup 3 and start building some confidence."
Carrington's 200m heats will follow, with semifinals for both events later in the day.

Carrington's Olympic plans unchanged

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