World Cup campaign commences

Author -  Karen Simpson

The World Cup campaign commences as a small team heads off to Europe this week gearing up for the first of the World Cups in Portugal.

World Cup campaign commences

The World Cup campaign commences as a small team heads off to Europe this week gearing up for the first of the World Cups in Portugal. A quartet of Kiwi paddlers will be looking to add a new chapter to New Zealand's proud Olympic canoeing history when they leave for Europe next week.

Caitlin Ryan, Jaimee Lovett, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie are part of a strong New Zealand team heading off on the first leg of a 450-day odyssey which they hope will culminate in Rio de Janeiro next year.

It's been 23 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. 

There has never been a women's K4 picked, however - in fact, if the current four make it, they'll more than double the number of females to have competed at that level.

Of the 24 New Zealanders who have paddled flat-water kayaks at the Olympic games, only three - Erin Taylor, Lisa Carrington and Teneale Hatton - have been in the women's ranks.

Carrington is also heading off next week, joining the team competing in three World Cups in Portugal, Germany and Denmark over consecutive weekends. The Olympic and world champion K1 200m paddler has also been selected alongside paralympian Scott Martlew to race the world championships in Italy in August.

K1 200m specialist Scott Bicknell and K1 1000m national champion Marty McDowell complete the team, with the latter pair and the women's K4 hoping for strong world cup performances to join Carrington and Martlew at the world championships.

"We've been pretty selective about the squad we've chosen and definitely have Rio de Janeiro in the back of our minds," CRNZ chief executive Mark Weatherall said. "We're looking for strong international performances, plain and simple. These crews need to prove that they are capable of reaching finals at the highest level."

Key dates:
May 15-17 - World Cup 1 (Coimbra, Portugal)
May 22-24 - World Cup 2 (Duisburg, Germany)
May 29-31 - World Cup 3 (Denmark)
August 19-23 - World championships (Milan, Italy)


World Cup campaign commences

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