Lisa Carrington says she has room to improve and is likely to launch another twin assault on the Tokyo Olympics in four years.

While most Kiwi athletes in Rio have offered muffled responses to questions about their future, Carrington believes her gold-bronze return this week has only strengthened a desire to continue in sprint canoeing.

She is a class above her rivals in the K1 200m, notching successive Olympic golds, but knows she must get better in the K1 500m.

Carrington produced a storming third-placed finish but was two lengths behind defending champion Danuta Kozak.


The Hungarian also won the women's K2 500m gold, achieving what Carrington had wanted.

"Danuta, she's got two golds here. Man, what an amazing feeling she must have to do that," Carrington told NZ Newswire.

"I know how hard it is to do what I've done. I just have to get a whole lot faster."

The challenge of winning the 500m race is likely to motivate Carrington, who was world champion last year. She said the event is a gathering point of all the world's premier female paddlers, from short and long distances.

"It's a tough event, it's got history in the Olympics so to even be in the final is pretty great.

"I've won a medal here and ultimately that's exciting because it gives me determination to keep pushing."

Carrington climbed the podium after every 200m and 500m world championship race since her London gold, the only paddler to do so. She will probably continue to compete in both.

"I've done it for the last few years and it is tough. You have to bring your A-game every single time," she said. "But I feel like there's more. I don't know what it is but hopefully we go faster. There's always more growth, whether it's mentally, physically or emotionally."