Kayaking: Carrington fine-tuning her race for K1 double

By David Leggat

Carrington is targeting two gold medals in the K1 200m and 500m. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Carrington is targeting two gold medals in the K1 200m and 500m. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The hard work is done for champion kayaker Lisa Carrington; now it's managing the last bit of fine tuning before attempting to win two Olympic medals in Rio.

There's no point doing any more endurance work; she is into what the swimmers would call their tapering stage readying for a major event.

Carrington is still in Spain, and has two more weeks at her Lake Banyoles base before heading to Rio and the Lagoa de Rodrigo where she hopes to join elite New Zealand company as a double medal winner in the same Games.

It's rarified air up there but Carrington is targeting two gold medals in the K1 200m and 500m.

She's been unbeatable in the sprint distance since winning the world title first in 2011 and is defending Olympic champion; the longer, classic distance will be a tougher job, especially now Hungarian star and former world and Olympic champion Danuta Kozak is back in the discipline.

Carrington has spent a fortnight training with rivals Naomi Flood of Australia, Spela Ponomarenko Janic of Slovenia and Martina Kolova of Slovakia. She rates it enormously beneficial.

"It went really well," she said. "We did every session together for two weeks. One of them is really great at endurance training, another is super good at sprinting, so it was good to be challenged in all aspects of training."

Carrington admitted that early on in her time overseas - she left New Zealand on May 7 - she had moments of wanting to head home but reflected "it's actually gone fairly quickly. We've been really settled and content here so it's been good".

When she finally does get home it will be the fat end of four months on the road. So there's one part saying she's ready for the main event, another part thinking not long till I'm home. But on balance, Carrington reckons she's pretty relaxed given what is coming up in three weeks.

Training on a lake which is more a public facility rather than a high performance-tailored complex has also helped. Being based 500m from the water hasn't hurt either, and Carrington will fly to Rio feeling she's had an ideal buildup. "It's a really cool place, quite refreshing."

A few days of a virus hasn't dimmed her confidence either, coming when she was due some down time anyway.

This has been a four-year project for Carrington, once she'd decided to have a crack at two events in Rio.

"It's been amazing to get to this point and still be surprising myself in training. I'm pretty happy, Gordy (coach Gordon Walker) has done a really great job and the planning has gone really well."

- NZ Herald

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