Kayaking: Carrington dominates canoe sprint champs

By Greg Taipari of the Daily Post -
Lisa Carrington. Photo / Janna Dixon
Lisa Carrington. Photo / Janna Dixon

Women's 200m world canoe sprint champion Lisa Carrington has sent out a warning to her rivals - she means business.

Competing at the national canoe sprint championships on Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) near Rotorua, the 22-year-old showed her class to claim two national titles today.

In the open women's 500m final, Carrington cleared away to a three-second victory over her nearest rival and K2 partner Erin Taylor.

"I'm really stoked about it,'' the Ohope paddler said. "I had a race strategy and I executed it the way I wanted to, so it was good.''

Carrington burst out of the blocks and, although Taylor and North Shore's Rachel Dodwell tried to hang with the world champion, she continued to pick up the pace, wearing her opponents down and eventually coming home in a time of 1:51.68. Taylor was second in 1:54.53 and Dodwell third in 1:54.93.

Carrington then teamed up with Taylor to win the open women's K2 500m final ahead of Rachel Dodwell and Jamie Lovett, with Marianne and Teneal Archer third.

Another to make his presence felt at the championships was former world champion Ben Fouhy, who has claimed three national titles.

He won Friday's open men's 1000m final, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of his nearest rival Steven Ferguson. Fouhy and Ferguson went head-to-head for the first 600m before Fouhy powered away.

It was a lot closer in today's open men's K2 1000m final, with Fouhy and North Shore paddling partner Fred Teear edging Ferguson and Darryl Fitzgerald by just 0.18 seconds.

Fouhy also added the open men's 500m title.

The 32-year-old said he was happy with his form, especially with the Oceania championships - which double as Olympic qualifiers - only two weeks away in Penrith.

"Friday's win was a really good win for me,'' said Fouhy, who will be looking to add the 200m title tomorrow. "I think it's the most I've ever won a New Zealand title by, so I can take some encouragement from that.

"Personally I wanted to do well here but, really, this was going to be used as a catalyst for the Oceania champs, that's critical for [me]. The racing here, whatever way it went, was more about two weeks' time.''

Carrington is hot favourite to add another title in her favoured 200m event and was feeling confident about tomorrow's race.

"It would be good to [win] the 200,'' she said. "[The distance] it comes to me quite naturally. It would be good to just race, because it is just all out and let it rip.''

Ferguson and Fitzgerald have at least enjoyed some success at the championships, winning Friday's men's K2 500m title when they pipped Troy Burbidge and Liam O'Loughlin by just 0.18 seconds. The pair will race again tomorrow for the 200m title.

Results from the New Zealand canoe sprint championships at Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) near Rotorua:

Friday:
Open men's K1 1000m final: Ben Fouhy 03:43.26, 1; Steven Ferguson 03:47.18, 2; Darryl Fitzgerald 03:48.02, 3; Liam O'Loughlin 03:49.33, 4; Steven Armstrong 03:54.87, 5.

Open men's K2 500m final: Steven Ferguson/ Darryl Fitzgerald 1:36.99, 1; Troy Burbidge/Liam O'Loughlin 1:37.17, 2; Steven Armstrong/James Feathery 1:40.96, 3; Richard Forbes/Sam Newlands 1:51.75, 4; Ryan Welch/William Wilkins 2:08.96, 5.

Saturday:
Open men's K1 500m final: Ben Fouhy 1:43.93, 1; Liam O'Laughlin 1:44.29, 2; Darryl Fitzgerald 1:47.05, 3; Steven Armstrong 1:48.15, 4; Scott Bicknell 1:49.53, 5.

Open men's K2 1000m final: Ben Fouhy/Fred Teear 03:15.44, 1; Steven Ferguson/Darryl Fitzgerald 03:15.62, 2; Troy Burbidge/Liam O'Loughlin 03:17.22, 3; Steven Armstrong/James Feathery 03:29.51, 4; Scott Bicknell/Ryan Welch 03:41.43, 5.

Open women's K1 500m final: Lisa Carrington 01:51.68, 1; Erin Taylor 1:54.53, 2; Rachel Dodwell 1:54.93, 3; Scott Martlew 1:55.09, 4; Teneale Hatton 1:55.70, 5.

Open women's K2 500m final: Lisa Carrington/Erin Taylor 1:49.59, 1; Rachel Dodwell/Jamie Lovett 1:51.44, 2; Marianne Archer/Teneale Archer 1:54.17, 3; Imrie Kayla/Jamie Welch 2:08.33, 4; Kate Johnston/Sharne Quickenden 2:10.99, 5.

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