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Saturday, 22 August 2015
A jubilant Lisa Carrington has won her first K1 500m world title at the canoe racing world championships tonight. The New Zealand star swept to victory in the longer distance, putting daylight in between her black boat and her rivals on a choppy course in Milan.
"It was a tough race and I had to be really prepared to give it everything and do what I could because the competition was so strong," Carrington said. "I couldn't leave anything up to chance. I'm just really pleased to get the K1 500m done and now I can refocus on the 200m."
Carrington's 200m semifinal is due to be raced later tonight but she hasn't lost at that distance since before the last Olympics. She's also unbeaten in either distance this year, and became just the second non-European to win the 500m title, after Canada's Caroline Brunet from 1997-99, since it was first raced in 1938.
Kárász, who posted the fastest semifinal time a day earlier, stuck with Carrington for the first half of the race, trailing by 0.650secs at the 250m mark but had no answer when the Kiwi powered home over the final stages. She raised a finger to the heavens and allowed herself a smile as she crossed the line.
The win completes a seamless 500m progression for the New Zealander, who finished third in 2013 and second last year. However, she'll be aiming for a fourth consecutive 200m title tomorrow, which will equal Brunet as the most successful sprinter in history. Brunet was also the last women to hold both titles in the same year, although that was well before the shorter race was an Olympic discipline.Poland's Marta Walczykiewicz, who has been runner-up to Carrington for the last three years, again looms as her main rival in the final.
Meanwhile, the men's K2 of Zac Franich and Darryl Fitzgerald finished seventh in their 1000m C final, while the New Zealand women's K4 are set to race their semifinal later tonight.
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