Six paddlers confirmed in New Zealand Olympic team

Author -  Karen Simpson

Six New Zealand canoe sprint athletes have booked tickets to Rio de Janeiro later this year, with five paddlers set to make their Olympic debut.

Six paddlers confirmed in New Zealand Olympic team

Six New Zealand canoe sprint athletes have booked tickets to Rio de Janeiro later this year, with five paddlers set to make their Olympic debut.

NZOC Media Release

31 March 2016

Six paddlers confirmed in New Zealand Olympic team

2015 WC1 medallists.jpg
Six New Zealand canoe sprint athletes have been selected by the New Zealand Olympic Committee to the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio 2016 later this year, with five paddlers set to make their Olympic debut.

Multiple world champion and defending Olympic K1 200m champion Lisa Carrington heads the list, joined for the first time by a New Zealand women's K4 boat and by K1 1000m paddler Marty McDowell.

While McDowell is the sole male selected, the inclusion of Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie in the K4 more than doubles the number of New Zealand females competing at that level.

"We're delighted to see the investment in our women's programme paying off and our athletes getting the chance to show what they're capable of at the highest level," Canoe Racing New Zealand chief executive Mark Weatherall said.

"New Zealand has a proud Olympic kayaking history and we're excited to see that continue."

New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General Kereyn Smith was on hand to congratulate the six paddlers at a formal selection announcement at Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s North Shore this afternoon.

“The three crews selected today have worked extremely hard for selection and the New Zealand Olympic Committee is thrilled to welcome Lisa, Marty, Jaimee, Caitlin, Aimee and Kayla to the team for Rio,” said Smith.

“Each of these athletes have proven themselves on the world stage in recent years we congratulate them on their achievements."

Carrington has high hopes of becoming one of New Zealand's most successful Olympians, eyeing gold in both the K1 200m and K1 500m. She has been unbeaten in the shorter distance for the last five years at the top level, adding the K1 500m world championship crown for the first time in Milan last year. She overtook Paul MacDonald as New Zealand's most successful world championship athlete, with five gold medals, and joined MacDonald as the only Kiwi to win two golds at the same championship. The 26-year-old was also the first woman in 16 years - and only third in history - to hold both the 200m and 500m titles at the same time.

The new K4 crew, which has only been together for less than 18 months, also made a mark in Milan, reaching the K4 500m final and earning a qualifying spot for Rio. It came just three months after winning a round of the World Cup in Portugal.

It's been 24 years since New Zealand last had an Olympic K4 boat, with Richard Boyle, Finn O'Connor, Stephen Richards, and Mark Scheib making the semifinals in Barcelona in 1992, after earlier men's K4 crews in 1984 and 1988. Of the 24 New Zealanders who have paddled flat-water kayaks at the Olympic games, only three have been in the women's ranks.

McDowell will also make his Olympic debut, after qualifying through the Oceania championships last month. His best World Cup performance was also in Portugal last year, when he picked up bronze in the K1 500m.

Both Carrington and McDowell are coached by Gordon Walker, with Rene Olsen controlling the women's programme and the K4.

These six canoe sprint athletes bring the New Zealand Olympic Team to 48 confirmed athletes, joining fellow teammates from Taekwondo, Sailing, Rowing and Triathlon.

Canoe Sprint Team selected into New Zealand Olympic Games Team

Women's K1 200 and K1 500
Lisa Carrington

Men's K1 1000
Marty McDowell

Women's K4 500
Aimee Fisher
Kayla Imrie
Jaimee Lovett
Caitlin Ryan

Athlete Bios can be found here


For more information contact:

Ashley Abbott
Public Affairs and Communications Director
New Zealand Olympic Committee
+64 21 552 021

Mark Weatherall
Chief Executive Officer
Canoe Racing New Zealand
+64 21 132 4519

Canoe Sprint and the Olympic Games - Medal History

1984 Los Angeles K4 1000 Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald, Alan Thompson, Grant Bramwell
1984 Los Angeles K1 1000 Alan Thompson
1984 Los Angeles K2 500 Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald
1984 Los Angeles K1 500 Ian Ferguson
1988 Seoul K2 500 Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald
2012 London K1 200 Lisa Carrington

1988 Seoul K2 1000 Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald
2004 Athens K1 1000 Ben Fouhy

1988 Seoul K-1 500 Paul Macdonald

More Information about Canoe Racing can be found here

About the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games take place August 5 – August 21 2016.
They will be the first Olympic Games to take place in South America.
10,500 athletes from 206 nations around the world will gather in Rio for the games.
Competition will take place over 17 days in 28 sports including, for the first time, Rugby 7s and Golf.
306 medal events are on the programme with 918 medals to be won.
New Zealand will send a team of around 200 athletes which will be New Zealand’s biggest Olympic Team ever.
The previous biggest New Zealand Olympic Games teams were 184 at Beijing 2008 and at London 2012.

Our previous most successful Olympic Games was at London 2012 with a total of 13 medals including six gold, five silver and two bronze. New Zealand also won 13 medals at Seoul 1988 with three gold, two silver and eight bronze. The most gold medals won by New Zealand was at Los Angeles 1984 with eight golds and a total of 11 medals.
Rio 2016 selection announcements take place March – July 2016.
The vibrant host city of Rio de Janeiro is famous for its white sand beaches and breath-taking geography.

Six paddlers confirmed in New Zealand Olympic team

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