Rio Olympics 2016: Lisa Carrington double will provide big boost for kayaking

By David Leggat

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington paddles for bronze during women's kayak single 500m final. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Lisa Carrington paddles for bronze during women's kayak single 500m final. Photo / AP

Lisa Carrington's historic double Olympic kayaking medal success will pay a significant dividend for the sport.

Canoe Racing New Zealand boss Mark Weatherall calls it a massive boost for the sport, after her K1 500m bronze today to go with her K1 200m gold 48 hours ago.

Weatherall thinks Carrington deserves to sit alongside Olympic giants like Peter Snell, fellow kayakers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald and swimmer Danyon Loader after her inspiring deeds.

"Lisa's gold medal in London four years ago created a huge surge in the number of female paddlers in New Zealand and there's no reason to believe that won't happen again," Weatherall said.

"We've already seeing the fruits of that surge, both at senior level and with our top juniors, which makes the next four years heading into Tokyo 2020 incredibly exciting."

CRNZ set a goal of two medals at Rio, with Carrington single-handedly achieving that even before the rising New Zealand women's K4 crew takes to the water late tonight for their heat.

Making the final would be a huge achievement for the K4, Weatherall says, with team members Caitlin Ryan, Jaimee Lovett, Kayla Imrie and Aimee Fisher all making their Olympic debuts.

"Just having them qualify has been huge, with the experience they'll gain from competing at this level. It opens up a range of options for us in future, in terms of individual and crew boats, with anything they achieve from here just a bonus."

Weatherall had high praise for the outstanding campaign mounted by Carrington, coach Gordon Walker and her High Performance Sport New Zealand team.

"Lisa's K1 200m dominance has meant that more of her rivals have concentrated on the longer distance, so to perform amid that calibre of field in an Olympic final is an incredible achievement," he said.

"We've seen already at these Olympics how different it is from world championship and world cup level - racing both distances has been a four-year plan from Lisa and Gordon and to come away with a gold and bronze is testament to their focus and desire."

- NZ Herald

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