The international Canoe Sprint racing season kicked off in Szeged, Hungary yesterday, and it was a strong first day for the kiwi team with all paddlers progressing into the next rounds.
The first ICF Sprint & Paracanoe World Cup of four in 2023 runs from the 11-14th May with a strong Kiwi team ready to make their mark on the event, in an Olympic qualifying year.
Ashton Reiser was the first Kiwi to hit the water at the ICF Sprint World Cup in Szeged, in the Men’s K4 500m heat 2. His solid fourth place finish, 3.82 seconds behind the heat winner Anton Wilkeman of Germany, will see him progress to the semi-final. In the afternoon session Ashton won his MK 200m heat to advance through into the semis.
The Men’s Paracanoe team had an outstanding start to the first World Cup with Scott Martlew winning his KL2 Men 200m heat securing his place in the A Final. Team mate Corbin Hart who competes in the KL3 200m class finished third in his heat, also earning a place in his respective A Final. Scott Martlew raced again in the VL3 event later in the day, and both he and Peter Cowan placed 2nd in their heats to advance directly into the A final (Sunday night NZT)
The Women’s K4 500m faced strong competition in their first heat from the German quad, but a strong performance secured the Kiwi’s a win, clocking in at 1.39.49 a mere .09 seconds ahead of the German team. With the fastest time across all the Women’s K4 heat races, the crew of Lisa Carrington, Alicia Hoskin, Tara Vaughan and Olivia Brett are looking highly competitive and in good contention at the end of the regatta..
The brand new Men’s K4 500m combination of Max Brown, Zach Ferkins, Kurtis Imrie and Hamish Legarth will be happy with their third place, only 0.66 seconds behind the Slovakian heat 4 winners, after a very competitive heat. They progress into the semi finals.
Five-time Olympic champion and reigning K1 Women’s World Champion Lisa Carrington, and Aimee Fisher both dominated in their WK1 500m heats, with Aimee setting the fastest heat time, to lock in their places in the A semi-finals.
Quaid Thompson, the 2023 Men’s K1 1000m New Zealand national champion safely secured his spot in the A semi-finals, with his 5th-place finish in his 1000m heat.
Racing continues over the next 3 day, with many semi-finals and finals raced on Friday (from 7pm NZT).
Nathan Luce (GM Performance) was positive going into the regatta, following a great training camp in Hungary leading in to the World Cup.
“The teams are all in great form. We’ve had time to adjust to the travel and enjoyed some solid training sessions on the race course in Szolnok. The environment has served us well and brought us together as one big team. Our Kiwi paddlers are ready to put down strong performances.”