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Friday, 26 February 2016
The job is only half done for kayaker Lisa Carrington, after collecting her eighth New Zealand K1 200m title on the opening day of the NZCT canoe sprint national championships at Lake Karapiro today.
The world and Olympic champion finished in 42.97secs, ahead of Hawke's Bay's Aimee Fisher (44.01) and North Shore's Caitlin Ryan (45.63), but quickly adjusted her sights to tomorrow's K1 500m final. That's the distance she suffered a rare defeat before Christmas, with North Shore's Teneale Hatton triumphing at Blue Lakes 2 in Rotorua, although Carrington was easing her way back after a busy 2015 season.
"It's never nice doing worse than you want to but it was totally about where I was in training and where I was physically," Carrington said. "The 500 is a really important race for me and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and really race hard."
Although she's concentrating on August's Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the Eastern Bay paddler admitted the national championships still held a special place in her heart.
"It's fantastic to race the other girls and experience the nerves again," Carrington said. "It just shows how important these nationals are, that they are still pretty nerve-wracking for me. It's also great to be able to go out and completely empty the tank and go hard - I haven't done that in a little while."
Fisher, 21, completed a good day by pairing with New Zealand K4 teammate Jaimee Lovett to win the K2 200m title, while Scott Bicknell and Craig Simpkins edged Andrew Roy and William Wilkins in the men's K2.
Hawke's Bay's Bicknell successfully defended his K1 200m crown too, powering home in 37.74 to beat New Zealand teammate Marty McDowell (Mana) by 1.36secs. It was Bicknell's sixth 200m title and his fourth in a row.
Young paddlers Roy (39.40) and Taris Harker (39.54) had a great tussle for third, although Harker turned the tables by winning the under-23 final, with Mana's Kurtis Imrie second and Roy third.
Photos and story courtesy of Jamie Troughton, Dscribe Media
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