The signs are encouraging but the proof will come on the water at this week's world championships in Germany.
That's head coach Gordon Walker's assessment of Olympic champion paddler Lisa Carrington's readiness for a tilt at double gold in the K1 200 and 500m events in Duisburg, starting tonight (NZT).
The Bay of Plenty athlete reaffirmed her status as being among the world's finest canoeists by winning five out of six world cup events over the two distances this year, in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland in May-June.
Having won the world title in 2011 and the Olympic crown in London last year in the shorter distance, she decided to branch out this year, with spectacular results.
"Her training and preparations have been pretty good so far," Walker said from Duisburg yesterday.
"The standard she's been working at is what we needed to do but the racing will be the evidence we're after."
Walker said the change in 24-year-old Carrington since the season began has been steady, rather than rapid.
"Like a lot of things with her it's not so much a significant change, more a gradual evolution, progress towards becoming a better paddler," he said.
"The world cups were part of that, a learning opportunity and she has gained confidence from those performances."
New Zealand will field crews in five other events.
Former Olympic silver medallist Ben Fouhy is lining up in the K1 1000m, having recovered following a short stay in a German hospital with a viral bronchitis.
Also spending time in hospital was para-canoeist Scott Martlew, who will be the first New Zealander in action tonight when he races in the K1 LTA 200m heats. Martlew, fifth at last year's worlds and who lost a leg three years ago, was hit by severe asthma caused by pollen but he, too, has recovered from his illness.
Teneale Hatton and Rachel Dodwell, on the back of a mix of excellent and average world cup results, are in the K2 500m; Hatton races the non-Olympic marathon event, the K1 5000m, in which she had second, fourth and first place finishes in the world cups; and the quartet of Daryl and Jarrod Fitzgerald, Zac Quickenden and Jasper Bats are contesting the K4 1000m.