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Dream debut for kayaker Fisher

Author -  Karen Simpson

Lisa Carrington and Aimee Fisher lined up against each other in the semi final of the WK1 200 overnight with a dream outcome.

Dream debut for kayaker Fisher

Lisa Carrington and Aimee Fisher lined up against each other in the semi final of the WK1 200 overnight with a dream outcome. Aimee Lisa Semi WC1 K1 200.jpg
Hawke's Bay kayaker Aimee Fisher has made a dream debut in the World Cup individual ranks, joining Lisa Carrington in tonight's final of the K1 200m in Duisburg, Germany.

Fisher is a member of the Rio-bound New Zealand women's K4 boat, alongside Caitlin Ryan, Jaimee Lovett and Kayla Imrie. With the crew boat not opening their World Cup campaign until tonight, 21-year-old Fisher took the chance to test her raw speed on the first day and came through with flying colours.

Despite battling nerves in her heat, she finished second behind Ukrainian Anastasiia Todorova, then set a new personal best in the semifinal behind Carrington to qualify fifth-fastest for the final.

"It was awesome to be able to line up with Lisa - it was just like being at home and I'm really looking forward to the final tomorrow to see how the Kiwi girls can go," a jubilant Fisher said. "Racing K1 has been so much fun. It was a massive experience and I'm also really looking forward to taking all that stuff I've learned into the K4 tomorrow."

Fisher clocked 40.797secs in the semifinal, with Carrington's 40.200 comfortably the fastest time of the day.
The Duisburg venue holds a special place in Carrington's heart, having won her first World Cup title on the famous German channel in 2011. Since then, she's won 13 of the 14 major races she participated in, including Olympic gold in London in 2012. Her only defeat in that time was also in Duisburg in 2012, when she finished second behind Hungarian Natasa Douchev-Janics.

Douchev-Janics has also made tonight's final, alongside Azerbaijan's Inna Osipenko-Rodomska, European Champion Sarah Guyot (France), Todorova and Poland’s Marta Walczykiewicz.

Fisher, who finished second to Carrington at the national championships in February, explained she benefited from a pep talk from national women's coach Rene Olsen before the semifinal.

"The heat was absolutely terrifying - I was shaking like a leaf on the start line - but I sat down with Rene and had a little debrief and laid out some things I needed to work on for the semi. I just tried to stay relaxed and not freak out too much."

Titahi Bay's Marty McDowell will race the C final of the K1 1000m, the event he recently qualified for Rio in, after finishing sixth in his semifinal. McDowell qualified for the semifinals with a strong second-placing in his heat, leading for much of the race before Bulgaria's Miroslav Kirchev reeled him in, but couldn't stay with the leaders in the semifinal.

Denmark's René Holten Poulsen won in 3:35.848, with McDowell clocking 3:42.033. The other semifinal winners were Max Hoff (Germany), Serbian Dejan Pajic and Aleh Yurenia (Belarus).

Meanwhile, Christchurch's Scott Martlew missed the opportunity to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, after finishing fourth in the B final of the KL3 200m.

Fisher and Carrington will race their K1 200m final at 11.05pm (NZ time), with Carrington backing up with her K1 500m heat later in the night, McDowell racing the K1 200m and the K4 in action at 2.50am.

Full NZ schedule here

Watch the replays here

Dream debut for kayaker Fisher

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