Canoeing: Gold success for New Zealand canoeists

By David Leggat

Lisa Carrington has retained her world title three years in a row. Photo / Richard Robinson
Lisa Carrington has retained her world title three years in a row. Photo / Richard Robinson

New Zealand canoeists enjoyed double golden delight on the final day of the world championships in Duisburg, Germany.

Defending Olympic K1 200m champion Lisa Carrington won her sprint final in a sizzling 39.522 seconds to follow team mate Teneale Hatton's victory in the K1 5000m marathon two and a half hours earlier.

For Bay of Plenty paddler Carrington it reinforced her standing as the best female sprint racer in the sport.

She won the world gold in 2011 and backed that with her win at the London Olympics last year.

It also came a day after winning the bronze medal in the K1 500m discipline, which she has picked up with conspicuous success this year.

Carrington won five of the six World Cup titles over the two distances this year.
Last night's win was by just .190s over Poland's Marta Walczykiewicz with Slovenia's Spela Ponomarenko Janic third in 39.951.

"She had a really good start," head coach Gordon Walker said last night. "The Polish girl, who is always very quick over the first half, shot out and lead till about 120m. Lisa took the lead about then and kept building a slight lead.

"There's always someone pushing her but she manages to rise to the occasion every time. She was looking for a fight today and I'm absolutely rapt for her."
Walker wouldn't compare last night's win with the Olympic gold.

"The fact she has retained her world title three years in a row while taking on more challenges is something to be proud of."

Carrington won the B final in the opening K1 500m World Cup in Hungary, then the A crown in the next two and Walker said the goal for the year in that event was top five, "so top three is excellent".

Hatton, Queenstown born but based on the North Shore, has been a strong performer in the long distance this year.

She went into last night's final with second, fourth and first placings at the three World Cup regattas, made a strong start and won by 22 seconds.

Hatton crossed the line in 22min 08.367s, with Hungary's Renata Csay second in 22:31.301 and Finland's Anne Rikala third in 22:32.654, and was stoked by her success.
"It's a bit of a fun race for me because I've come from surf ski, so I quite like how it's so aggressive and you can it into each other," she quipped.

Hatton reckons she had her "best ever start" last night, led from the outset and used her strength on the turns to increase her advantage.

"I just wanted to keep control so really pushed for the first lap to make as much ground as I could between me and the pack and try and hold it and do the best time I could."
Halfway up the first 2km lap she was shoved sideways across a lane but recovered and won in thoroughly convincing fashion.

Hatton talked of the importance her surf ski background has played in her success. The ability to push through the wash and survive bumps from rivals gave her an edge.
Walker was in awe of Hatton's performance.

"I'm absolutely thrilled for Teneale," he said.

"She destroyed that field, I've never seen anything like it. She was in the lead after 200m of a 5000m event and no one came close to her. It was extraordinary."

Hatton and her K2 500m partner Rachel Dodwell finished ninth in their A final, but have made significant progress in their first year together.

"There's a huge amount of ground we can make up," she said.

It all adds up to the prospect of a rosy future for the sport, with the Rio Olympics in 2016 the obvious target.

- NZ Herald

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