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Sunday, 21 August 2016
Photos courtesy of Photosport.nz
Article by Jamie Troughton, Dscribe Media
August 19 2016Lisa Carrington's historic Olympic kayaking deeds are a massive boost for the sport, Canoe Racing New Zealand boss Mark Weatherall believes.
Carrington became the first New Zealand woman to win two Olympic medals at the same games, adding a bronze medal in the K1 500m overnight to the K1 200m gold she won earlier in the week in Rio.
With a gold in London four years ago, she also joined boardsailor Barbara Kendall (gold in 1992, silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000) and shot putter Val Adams (gold in 2008 and 2012 and silver in Rio) as New Zealand's most successful female Olympian.
Weatherall thinks Carrington deserves to sit alongside Olympic giants like Peter Snell, fellow kayakers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald and swimmer Danyon Loader after her inspiring deeds.
"Lisa's gold medal in London four years ago created a huge surge in the number of female paddlers in New Zealand and there's no reason to believe that won't happen again," Weatherall said. "We've already seeing the fruits of that surge, both at senior level and with our top juniors, which makes the next four years heading into Tokyo 2020 incredibly exciting."
Canoe Racing NZ set a goal of two medals at Rio, with Carrington single-handedly achieving that even before the rising New Zealand women's K4 crew takes to the water on Friday night (NZ time).
Making the final would be a huge achievement for the K4, Weatherall says, with team members Caitlin Ryan, Jaimee Lovett, Kayla Imrie and Aimee Fisher all making their Olympic debuts.
"Just having them qualify has been huge, with the experience they'll gain from competing at this level. It opens up a range of options for us in future, in terms of individual and crew boats, with anything they achieve from here just a bonus."
Carrington finished 1.878 seconds behind dominant gold medallist Danuta Kozak (Hungary) at Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in the K1 500m, in a three-way photo-finish for the minor placings. After a conservative start, she surged through the last 250m to clock 1 minute 54.372 seconds, just 0.046 seconds behind Denmark's Emma Jorgensen, but nearly 2secs adrift of Kozac, the defending Olympic champion.
"She's amazing," Carrington said. "It's tough, Olympic year everyone steps up and as you saw today we were all fighting for second."
The 27-year-old was proud of her efforts in an incredibly strenuous four days of racing. "It's been really tough and I'm just proud of the fact I could front up after two races and do my best. I'm happy."
Weatherall was also far from disappointed, praising an incredible campaign by Carrington, her coach Gordon Walker and the High Performance Sport New Zealand team around her.
"Lisa's K1 200m dominance has meant that more of her rivals have concentrated on the longer distance, so to perform amid that calibre of field is an incredible achievement. Racing both events has been a four-year plan from Lisa and Gordon and to come away with a gold and bronze is testament to their focus and desire."NZ's best female Olympians:Three medals:Valerie Adams, athletics (gold 2008, gold 2012, silver 2016)Lisa Carrington, canoeing (gold 2012, gold 2016, bronze 2016)Barbara Kendall, board sailing (gold 1992, silver 1996, bronze 2000)Two medals:Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell, rowing (gold 2004, gold 2008)Rebecca Scown, rowing (silver 2016, bronze 2012)Vicki Latta, equestrian (silver 1992, bronze 1996)
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