Rio Olympics 2016: Carrington out to surpass idol

Lisa Carrington claimed gold in the women's K1 200m at Lagoa Stadium. Photo / photosport.nz
Lisa Carrington claimed gold in the women's K1 200m at Lagoa Stadium. Photo / photosport.nz

She's matched her childhood inspiration Danyon Loader.

Now Lisa Carrington wants to go one better.

The New Zealand sprint canoeist completed the first, and most achievable, leg of a challenging Olympic double assault when she defended her K1 200m title in Rio.

Next comes a crack at the K1 500m, where Carrington must combat a deeper field and the more gruelling nature of the event.

While delighted with her form in the shorter distance, she says it provides no pointer how she might fare over 500m.

She must hold her form through heats and semi-finals on Wednesday, followed by a final on Thursday which would be Carrington's fourth-straight day on the water.

"My training gives me more confidence than the (200m) race," she said. "I'll do my best but the 500m is a really tough event.

It kind of hurts a bit more and I've got really strong competition. It is just a tough race."

She won last year's 500m world championship title, although that regatta didn't feature Hungarian Olympic champion Danuta Kozac, who beat Carrington in their only clash this year.

If successful, Carrington would become the first Kiwi woman to claim two Olympic golds at the same Games.

Five men have achieved that, including swimmer Loader at the 1996 Olympics.

Carrington remembers feeling spellbound at Loader's Atlanta double, watching on television alongside her father Pat.

"My dad said 'wouldn't you like to be an Olympian?' or something like that. Since then, watching Kiwi success is amazing for me."

Carrington was delighted to be presented with her gold medal on Tuesday by New Zealand sailing great Barbara Kendall.

A medal of any colour in her second event this week would lift Carrington level with Kendall and shot putter Valerie Adams as the only Kiwi female three-time medallists.

-NZN

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