Lisa Carrington has enjoyed a gruelling but successful penultimate day of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships.
Carrington landed a pair of silver medals in the K1 500m and K2 500m – the latter alongside Caitlin Ryan – before posting the quickest qualification time in the heats of the K1 200m.
The Bay of plenty 29-year-old, who is bidding for a sixth straight world title in her principle event, blasted to victory in heat one in 41.825s - 0.927s clear of second-placed Dora Lucz of Hungary. The second fastest of the semifinal qualifiers was Jessica Walker, of Great Britain, in 42.244s.
Carrington, paddling alongside Ryan and freshly-minted K2 200m silver medallists Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie, also impressed in the heats of the K4 500m. The 2017 world bronze medallists topped the qualifiers for the final by winning heat two in 1m 35.602s, comfortably clear of second-placed Germany (1m 36.195s).
World and Olympic champions Hungary claimed victory in heat one in 1m 37.234s to advance into the medal race as fifth quickest overall.
Earlier in the day, in near perfect conditions at the High Performance Centre at Montemor-o-Velho, Carrington produced a courageous paddle in the women's K1 500m but had to concede defeat to Olympic champion Danuta Kozak of Hungary.
Thanks to her trademark blistering start, the Kiwi established the early pace and held a slight 0.12s lead from Kozak at the 250m mark. However, the Hungarian's strength told in the final 100m as she edged past the Kiwi to stop the clock in 1m 47.254s – with Carrington matching the silver medal she won in the same event last year, 0.730s down. The 2017 world champion Volha Khudzenka of Belarus had to settle for bronze in 1m 48.724s.
2017 world bronze medallists Fisher and Imrie teamed up to make their mark to win silver in the K4 500m, narrowly missing out on gold in a photo-finish to the German duo Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze.
In the high-speed event, the Ukrainian pair of Marila Kichasova-Skoryk and Anastasiya Horlova took a clear early advantage. However, as Ukraine faded in the latter stages both Germany and New Zealand unleashed their winning bid. As both crews flashed across the line – almost in unison – it was Germany who shaded victory by just 0.040s in 37.157s.
The 2017 world champions Carrington and Ryan took to the start line of the K2 500m facing the formidable threat of the Hungarian crew of Kozak and Anna Karasz ,and so it proved.
The Kiwis made the stronger start and held a clear 0.69s advantage at halfway. But the Hungarian boat led by Kozak, the five-time Olympic champion, inched closer to the Kiwis in the second half of the race.
In a thrilling finale, and with both crews matching each other stroke for stroke, it took a photo-finish to determine Hungary had edged gold by a mere 0.023s in 1m 43.065s.
KL2 200m silver medallist Scott Martlew returned to action to take second in the B final of the men's VL3 200m in a time of 52.348s. The 25-year-old para-canoeist from Christchurch finished 1.530s adrift of race winner Tomasz Mozdzierski. Martlew's team-mate Peter Cowan of Hastings produced a solid paddle to place fourth in 52.953s.
Also competing for New Zealand, Gisborne's Quaid Thompson, on his open worlds debut, finished seventh in the K1 1000m semi-final in a time of 3m 44.254s.
The final day of the championships will see Carrington seek an eighth successive global women's K1 200m title (six world and two Olympic), while New Zealand will also be in the medal hunt in the women's K4 500m final.
Thompson and Ryan both return to the water in the men's and women's K1 5km events, respectively.