To most of us four gold and two bronze medals at national championship level would be a good excuse for a celebration party ... but not Hawke's Bay kayaker Hamish Legarth.

"While I'm pretty happy with the weekend's nationals they were pretty small in the scheme of things. This week's four-day Olympic trials are the big assignment," Legarth said.

However the 20-year-old Havelock North High School old boy agreed the three-day nationals which ended at Lake Karapiro on Sunday provided him with ideal rehearsals before the trials which begin at the same venue on Wednesday.

Legarth is one of six paddlers battling for the two berths in the New Zealand K2 1000m crew for Tokyo.


Whanganui's Max Brown and Mana's Kurtis Imrie qualified the Kiwi boat for Tokyo with their second placing in the Olympic Trial race at the weekend's Oceania championships in Sydney and they are also among the six trialists. The six were selected after K1 trials earlier this month.

"Everyone will get a crack at paddling with each other. Max and Kurtis are the fastest but we're [Legarth and Canterbury's Ben Duffy] definitely gunning for a spot. We've been sparring with them in training and it's been pretty close," Legarth said.

"We've had some big training blocks during the last six months and everything is going well."

Should Legarth miss out on Tokyo there's a good chance he will be selected for the August under-23 world championships in Germany. He was a member of the New Zealand K4 500m crew which finished seventh in their B final at last year's under-23 worlds in Romania.

A third-year civil engineering student at Waikato University, Legarth was scheduled to have shoulder surgery last year. However this was cancelled after some rehab worked out well.

His medal haul at the weekend's nationals was an indication of how successful the rehab was. Duffy and Legarth cruised to the K2 1000m title in 3m29.51s.

Their nearest rivals Fred Teear and Ashton Resier of North Shore posted a time of 3m34.34s. Legarth and Duffy also won gold in the K2 200m final in 32.80s, 1.13s clear of Karapiro pair Taris Harker and Tim Waller.

Legarth and Duffy combined with Ethan Moore and Jake Koekemoer to win the K4 200m and 500m finals. In the 500m final they posted a time of 1m30.81s to finish well clear of a composite Whanganui crew who crossed the line in 1m33.07s.


Legarth captured his bronze medals in his K1 1000m and 500m. In the 500m race he posted 1m44.24s and North Shore's Ashton Reiser won in 1m43.37s.

Poverty Bay's Zach Ferkins was a convincing winner of the K1 1000m title in 3m38.31s. Fellow national squad members Duffy and Legarth were second and third respectively with times of 3m44.83s and 3m45.87s.

Legarth's sister and former national representative Elise Legarth, who is coaching at the North Shore club, picked up a silver medal with Rochelle Austin in the K2 500m with a time of 2m01.03s. Their North Shore clubmates Alex Bermingham and Samalulu Clifton won in 1m57.67s.

Hawke's Bay's Aimee Fisher is on target for a second consecutive Olympic Games. Photo / Vera Bucsu
Hawke's Bay's Aimee Fisher is on target for a second consecutive Olympic Games. Photo / Vera Bucsu

Hawke's Bay's Aimee Fisher, who is on target for a second consecutive Olympic Games, finished the nationals with silver and bronze medals. Her silver came in the K1 200m, where she finished second to double Olympic and world champion Lisa Carrington of Bay of Plenty.

Carrington stopped the clock at 38.50s, just over half-a-second outside her world best time of 37.898s. Fisher's time was 36.69s and North Shore Olympian Caitlin Ryan was third in 40.03s.

Fisher's bronze came in the K1 500m final. World champion Carrington won in 1m48.23s, a little under two seconds shy of the world best time, Ryan was second in 1m50.42s and Fisher's time was 1m52.54s. The fourth member of last year's World Cup gold medal-winning K4 500m crew, Kayla Imrie, was fourth in 1m56.37s.

Hawke's Bay's Jack Wilkinson won two gold medals in the under-18 division. He won the K1 200m title before combining with clubmate Daniel Brown to win the K2 200m title.