A change to the Olympic programme is giving New Zealand an additional medal shot at London 2012. Reigning World Champion Lisa Carrington will race the K1 200m which will appear on the Olympic programme for the first time at the London 2012 Olympics. The team of six also includes Olympic silver medallist Ben Fouhy in the K1 1000m, Steven Ferguson and Darryl Fitzgerald in the Men’s K2 1000m, Teneale Hatton in the K1 500m and Erin Taylor who will team up with Carrington in the women’s K2 500m.
New Zealand Olympic Committee and Secretary General and selector Kereyn Smith says the athletes are an exciting mix of young talent and experience. “Our hopes are certainly high for Lisa,” she said. “While London will be her first Olympic Games she’s going in ranked number one in the world. Most of the team are sitting in the world’s top ten and, in the case of Taylor, Ferguson and Fouhy, have Olympic experience already behind them. They’re a group of athletes that have what it takes to make New Zealand proud.”
Ferguson is heading for his fourth Olympic Games after first representing New Zealand in swimming in 2000. He went on to take up canoe sprint and team up with Fouhy at Athens 2004 and competed again at Beijing 2008. Fouhy is heading for his third Olympic Games (Athens 2004, silver and Beijing 2008). Taylor also made an appearance at Beijing in 2008.
Canoe Racing NZ’s Chief Executive, Paula Kearns said, “We are delighted to be sending this exciting team to the Olympic Games. We have worked hard to create a world-class high performance programme to enable our athletes to hit the start line in the best possible shape. Our aim has been to develop a programme which is athlete-focussed and coach-led and includes integrated support services. We are confident this approach is paying off.”
Ian Ferguson (Men’s K2) and Gordon Walker (Open) are the Olympic team coaches.
The team trained in Europe through to the Olympic Games. Kearns said the team’s decision to continue training in Europe provided the athletes with an additional 26 training days which is significant in the crucial pre-Olympic period. “This is the first time we have taken this approach and we believe it will provide significant benefits to our athletes.”
New Zealand has a proud history in Olympic canoe racing, taking the world by storm in 1984 with four gold medals and again in 1988 where New Zealand took home one gold, one silver and one bronze. New Zealand was once again on the podium in the sport in 2004 with Ben Fouhy winning silver. (eds. Total eight medals, five gold, two silver, one bronze). The success of canoe sprint has also played an important role in New Zealand Olympic history. Canoe sprint delivered New Zealand’s first triple and triple gold medallist at a single Olympic Games (Ian Ferguson, 1984), our first quadruple Olympic medallists (Ferguson and
Paul MacDonald (1984 and 1988), our first quadruple gold medallist (Ferguson, 1984 and 1988) and finally our first quintuple medallists (Ferguson, MacDonald 1984 and 1988) .
The Kayak Team is:
Teneale Hatton - Women's K1 500m
Lisa Carrington - Women’s K1 200m/K2 500m
Erin Taylor - Women’s K2 500m
Steven Ferguson - Men’s K2 1000m
Darryl Fitzgerald – Men’s K2 1000m
Ben Fouhy – Men’s K1 1000m
The team support staff are:
Grant Restall - High Performance Manager
Gordon Walker - Open Team Coach
Ian Ferguson - MK2 Coach
James Saunders - Physiotherapist
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For more information please contact:
Fiona Fenwick, Canoe Racing NZ Communications
021725779 or firstname.lastname@example.org