Kayaking: Gold girl Lisa will be back on Blue Lake

By Greg Taipari


Gold medal Olympian Lisa Carrington will make a welcome return to Rotorua for the New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships.

It will be the first time Carrington has returned to race on Tikitapu (Blue Lake) since her gold medal performance in London last year.

There is plenty of motivation for the 23-year-old with the event doubling as the International Canoe Federation, Oceania canoe sprint champs.

New Zealand will host the event which will see paddlers from Australia, Tahiti, Palau, Samoa, Cook Islands and Finland competing over the next two-and-a-half days.

Carrington who won gold in the K1 200m canoe sprint event at the 2012 London Olympics, will be racing her favoured event tomorrow and Sunday as well as other races throughout the weekend.

Fellow Olympians Darryl Fitzgerald, Teneale Hatton and Ben Fouhy will also be racing both K1 events and team events, with some different K2 combinations.

Some of New Zealand's young up-and-comers will be fired up after the recent Australian Youth Olympic Festival where medals were won by six of the team. Aimee Fisher and Lucy Johnston both earned two silvers. Lucy also won a gold and will be racing in the under-18, under-23 and Open events. Zac Quickenden and Jarrod Fitzgerald who gained silver in the K2 1000m will be chasing up their medals with some Kiwi silverware of their own.

Kiwi battler Scott Martlew who lost his leg as a teen to necrotising fasciitis after a rugby injury, is also racing in the under-23 and open events. Scott placed fifth in the Paracanoe world champs and has his sights set on the Rio Olympics in 2016.

With no para competition here he is racing in the able-bodied age groups despite having the added challenge of balancing in a non-modified K1 and having only one leg.

The field get underway today at noon with 189 races being raced over the entire programme.

Racing tomorrow and Sunday starts at 8am.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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