Surf lifesaving: Carrington returns to surf as she prepares for Rio 2016

Lisa Carrington will compete for Mt Maunganui at the surf lifesaving world champs in Adelaide. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Lisa Carrington will compete for Mt Maunganui at the surf lifesaving world champs in Adelaide. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Olympic kayaking champion Lisa Carrington will make her competitive comeback next month, back in the sport where she first started.

The 23-year-old will compete for her Mt Maunganui club at Rescue 2012, the surf lifesaving world championships in Adelaide in November. It will be her first outing since winning gold in the K1 200m in London.

"The worlds have been in my mind since earlier in the year, giving me something else to aim for," she said. "Because surf isn't my main sport now, there's a bit less pressure and it's also about getting back to basics and remembering why I started paddling, so I can keep motivated."

Carrington, the 2011 national ski race champion, will go head-to-head at the interclub worlds with Australian Olympians Naomi Flood and Hannah Davis. Flood is a former world champion ski paddler and illustrious ironwoman in her own right.

The Kiwi will also race the women's taplin relay for Mt Maunganui, alongside former world beach sprint champion Holly Moczydlowski, board star Arna Wright, and French swimmer Emmanuelle Bescheron.

"Having an Olympic champion is obviously a huge boost to the team but, to be honest, she'd be a boost to us anyway because she gets on so well with the other girls and they'll be just bouncing off each other," said Mt Maunganui coach John Bryant.

Carrington has a long history in surf lifesaving, having joined the Whakatane Surf Club when she was 8 and starting ski paddling when she was 14. She took up kayaking two years later to bolster her summer sport and didn't look back.

She isn't the only New Zealand Olympian who will be competing in Adelaide. Swimmers Andy McMillan, Steve Kent, and Natasha Hind will be racing in the national teams championship, joined in the 12-strong squad by kayaker Steve Ferguson.

Four-time Olympian Ferguson, 32, believes Carrington's move back to surf will help prolong her paddling career; after all, it worked for him after the Sydney Olympics when he admits to being mentally drained.

"I'd trained so hard for so many years and I didn't do as well as I wanted and I was on a big downer. I decided to make some life changes and do things that made me happy, and surf lifesaving was one of them."

Carrington had six weeks off training after London but has been back on the water for the past month. She's hoping the temporary move back to surf will help sustain her through to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

"I've never been able to do anything internationally with surf lifesaving and it should be a lot of fun."


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