Champion paddler Lisa Carrington snapped up her eighth New Zealand K1 200m kayak title on the opening day of the national canoe sprint championships at Lake Karapiro today.
Carrington, world and Olympic champion at the distance, clocked 42.97 seconds, to beat home Hawkes Bay's Aimee Fisher, who crossed in 44.01s and Caitlin Ryan of North Shore, 45.63s.
"It's fantastic to race the other girls and experience the nerves again," Carrington said.
"It just shows how important these nationals are, that they are still pretty nerve-wracking for me. It's also great to be able to go out and completely empty the tank and go hard - I haven't done that in a little while."North Shore's Teneale Hatton was fourth, with Hatton and Carrington eyeing a rematch in the K1 500m tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Hawkes Bay's Scott Bicknell also defended his K1 200m crown, powering home in 37.74s to beat New Zealand teammate Marty McDowell of Mana by 1.36s. It was Bicknell's sixth 200m title and his fourth in a row.
Under-23 paddlers Andrew Roy (39.40s) and Taris Harker (39.54s) had a great tussle for the third, with the two Bay of Plenty paddlers finishing ahead of Craig Simpkins and Canadian Olympian Adam van Koeverden, who both dipped under the 40s mark.