Lethal Lisa reigns once more

Author -  Karen Simpson

Lisa Carrington retained her national open women’s K1 500m title as the kayaking superstar led home a Kiwi clean sweep of the podium in a high-class final with a strong international flavour.

Lethal Lisa reigns once more

Lisa Carrington retained her national open women’s K1 500m title as the kayaking superstar led home a Kiwi clean sweep of the podium in a high-class final with a strong international flavour.

Lisa Carrington 3.jpeg

Lisa Carrington retained her national open women’s K1 500m title as the kayaking superstar led home a Kiwi clean sweep of the podium in a high-class final with a strong international flavour.

The 29-year-old Eastern Bay paddler registered a time of 1:47.61 to finish 1.11secs clear of Caitlin Ryan (North Shore), who last May posted a world best time for the distance, in an electrifying race.

In a further measure of the quality of the New Zealand performance Aimee Fisher (Hawkes Bay) bagged bronze (1:49.69) to repel the six-strong international challenge provided by five Australians and a French athlete.

Carrington rocketed out of the start gate and quickly established a three-quarter length advantage from Caitlin Ryan with Aussie Alyce Burnett, the 2017 World K1 1000m champion sat in third.

Ryan of the North Shore Club gradually reduced Carrington’s advantage and there was little to separate the pair at halfway.

However, showing all the class you might expect of a two-time Olympic champion and eight-time world champion Carrington responded to the challenge and would not be denied.

A powerful finish from Fisher earned the bronze medal as Burnett faded to fourth in 1:50.87 before the Hawkes Bay paddler took an impromptu dip into Lake Karapiro moments after crossing the line.

“We were the only three Kiwis in the final and to have the Aussies in there always pushes you faster,’ explains Carrington of the powerful New Zealand performance, which bodes well for the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary in August.

“It means a lot to win this title, I know the quality of Caitlin and Aimee because I train with them every day. I had to work really hard to get it right.”

Caitlin Ryan, who was chasing her maiden open women’s K1 500m national title, said: “I’ll take a lot of learning from it. It probably wasn’t my best executed race and you can’t afford to make any mistakes competing against such a world-class field.

“It didn’t pan out exactly as I wanted but there is more to come and Lisa raced amazingly well. She is a very hard athlete to come close to.”

Fisher, the bronze medallist, wisely withdrew from any further races today after her unfortunate tumble, but she was more than satisfied with her performance.

“My goal was to stay focused on my lane and put everything on the table, which I did,” she says. “It is really easy to get hung up on outcome but it is important to find joy in the process, that is the real goal.”

Carrington returned a little over an hour later to claim another gold in the K2 500m. Competing alongside young Australian Ella Beere – who post-race described winning gold with Carrington as “probably one of the best days of my life” – the duo executed a first-class race to clock 1:40.18.

In a tight battle for silver the North Shore duo of Ryan and Briar McLeely edged the all Aussie duo of Burnett and Alyssa Bull by just 0.06, registering a time of 1:41.60.

Australia restored pride in the final of the open women’s K4 500m as a quartet of Burnett, Bull, Jo Brigden-Jones and Jamie Roberts claimed a comfortable win.

The foursome recorded a time of 1:34.92 to finish almost two-and-a-half seconds clear of North Shore. Mana (1:39.79) completed the medallists.

After silver medals in the open men’s K1 200m and K1 1000m Kurtis Imrie hit the sweet spot to strike gold in the open men’s K1 500m final in 1:39.50

The Mana athlete who has enjoyed an outstanding regatta – also winning K2 1000m gold alongside Max Brown – seized control early and ran away an impressive winner by a victory margin of 1.22 from K1 1000m champion Quaid Thompson. Brown (Wanganui) completed the podium by placing third in 1.41.93.

“Having finished second in my two (previous) K1 events that was in the back of my mind (leading into the K1 500m),” he said.

“The 500m distance is my forte because I have a good combination of speed and endurance. It’s been a fun men’s division; winning two golds and two silver. I’m over the moon with my four events.”

In the open men’s 5km Quaid Thompson (21:29) led home a Poverty Bay one-two ahead of Jordan McLarin (21:31). Thompson, the K1 1000m gold medallist, proved too strong for his club-mate in the final stages of a gruelling battle. Johan Dam Vedel of Denmark filled the third spot on the podium and there was a noteworthy performance from Para athlete and 2018 World KL2 200 silver medallist Scott Martlew, (22:11), who placed an outstanding fifth.

Former world champion K1 5000m champion Teneale Hatton (North Shore) put together a vintage performance to take the national K1 5000m crown.

The 29-year-old – who predominantly focuses on marathon and surf-ski racing – proved too strong for the remainder with Poverty Bay duo Alicia Hoskin – who has enjoyed an outstanding regatta – and Kim Thompson claiming the minor medals.

Another leading performer at the regatta was Olivia Brett who secured a total of five gold medals across the championships.

The U18 Arawa paddler tore a medial ligament in her knee four weeks ago but miraculously shrugged that aside to enjoy an outstanding regatta.

Sam Ferkins (of Poverty Bay) also excelled in the U18 category to win five gold medals across the three-day event.

Results can be found via our App (find Canoe NZ in the Play Store – free to download). Or check the Live Results Website.

For information, please contact

Steve Landells – 021 1972 877

Lethal Lisa reigns once more

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