Whanganui paddler Max Brown will make his open World Championship debut at the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary.
Brown and men's K2 partner Kurtis Imrie from Mana make their debuts following a breakthrough international campaign.
The pair will feature in the men's K2 1000m — the event where the duo finished an impressive eighth in the A Final at the ICF World Cup in Poznan, Poland. Earlier this month in Romania, Imrie further underlined his current form by winning a World Championships U23 bronze medal in the K1 500m.
The New Zealand team, boasting an exciting blend of youth and experience, hit the water at the World Championships last evening New Zealand time in Hungary, racing through until Sunday.
Brown and Imrie first race at 7.30pm NZ time on Friday in the K2 heats with their semifinals scheduled for around 4am Saturday.
All five Kiwi medallists from last year's World Championships return for the 2019 edition while the nine-strong squad also contains three paddlers set to make their open World Championship debuts.
Lisa Carrington (Eastern Bay) is entered in the women's K1 200m, having snared the past six world titles and past two Olympic Games in her pet event. The 30-year-old paddler is unbeaten over the distance for seven years and in May demonstrated her class by claiming an emphatic K1 200m win at the ICF World Cup regatta in Poznan.
Carrington also competes in the K1 500m for New Zealand. The 2015 world champion secured silver at last year's event in Portugal — finishing behind Hungary's double Olympic K1 500m champion Danuta Kozak — and the Kiwi claimed a confidence-boosting win in her most recent K1 500m international appearance at the World Cup in Poznan.
The eight-time world champion will also form one quarter of New Zealand talented women's K4 500m team alongside Kayla Imrie - older sister of Kurtis and also from Mana - Caitlin Ryan (North Shore) and Aimee Fisher (Hawke's Bay).
At the 2018 World Championships the quartet produced an inspired paddle to win silver, finishing just one hundredth of a second behind the powerhouse Hungarian crew, in a titanic tussle.
This same Kiwi foursome served notice of their form earlier this season when claiming a decisive World Cup win in Poznan.
Caitlin Ryan and Alicia Hoskin team up for New Zealand in the K2 500m boat. Ryan is a hugely experienced K2 500m performer; snaring a gold and a silver medal in the discipline alongside Carrington at the past two World Championships.
Ryan teams up with Hoskin, who makes her open World Championships debut. The 19-year-old Poverty Bay paddler gained huge experience earlier this year by competing in the Kiwi K4 500m boat at the ICF World Cups in Poznan and Duisburg.
In her most recent competitive display, Hoskin finished eighth in the A Final as part of the women's U23 K4 500m crew at the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Pitesti, Romania.
Programme (NZ) time:
3.10am — Lisa Carrington Heats of the Women's K1 200m
7.30pm - Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie Heats of Men's K2 1000m
4am - Brown and Imrie (hopefully) Semifinals of Men's K2 1000m