Lisa reigns supreme in world-class race
Lisa Carrington blitzed to the open women’s K1 200m title with a typically masterful display on day one of the 2020 NZCT New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships at a sun-drenched Lake Karapiro.
The 30-year-old double Olympic champion, who last night banked a fourth successive Sportswoman of the Year award at the Halberg Awards, was a class apart, stopping the clock in a blistering 38.50 – just over half-a-second outside of her world best time of 37.898.
Images: Vera Bucsu
A full boat length behind, Aimee Fisher (Hawkes Bay), nonetheless, produced an outstanding paddle to repeat her silver medal performance from 12 months ago with an eye-catching clocking of 39.69. Caitlin Ryan (North Shore), the 2018 K2 500m world champion, completed the podium positions) in 40.03.
For Lisa, a seven-time world K1 200m champion, victory represented a successful first competitive appearance of the year on the road to the Tokyo Olympics Games.
“I turn up every year trying to do my best, and today was all about making sure I got myself in a space where I could perform,” explains Lisa, who boasts a remarkable unbeaten record over the K1 200m stretching back eight years.
I try not to worry about placings and hopefully this will allow me to do justice to my performance. But what is most pleasing is the quality and depth has improved immensely in New Zealand since I first started paddling.”
Ashton Reiser mounted a thrilling defence of his open men’s K1 200m title - six months to the day after undergoing surgery on both forearms after being bedevilled by compartment syndrome issues.
The North Shore paddler struggled to find his rhythm during the rounds but rediscovered his A game in the final as a strong late surge from lane two took him to victory by just 0.03 from Taris Harker (Karapiro).
“I had the surgery after World U23s last year and it has been a hard road back,” explains Ashton, 21. “I didn’t return to full training until December and it has been the toughest season I’ve ever had to get back to form.
“Taris made a flying start but I knew the race was always going to be close, it always is.
“It was such a relief to win. I felt so much pressure trying to defend the title and winning it this year feels so much better.”
Ashton stopped the clock in 36.38 with Harker claiming silver. Ben Duffy (Arawa) rounded out the top three in 36.53.
New Zealand also earned a huge boost for their Tokyo Olympic ambitions as Kurtis Imrie and Max Brown booked the K2 1000m boat via the Olympic quota system at the Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships in Penrith, Sydney.
The duo finished second in the Olympic Trial race in a time of 3:24.15 a little over five seconds behind the Australian duo Lachlan Tame and Murray Stewart.
Australia had already booked an Olympic berth via this event at the World Championships but because Max and Kurtis finished ahead of the best of the rest of the region they banked the second Olympic quota spot.
Earlier, Kiwi Quaid Thompson won his heat of the K1 1000m to also secure an Olympic quota spot. The Olympic Qualification System only allows each nation to qualify a maximum of one men’s boat from the Oceania Qualifier.
The New Zealand duo of Alicia Hoskin and Danielle Watson unfortunately missed out on snagging an Olympic quota spot in the K2 500m. The combination needed to finish ahead of the Aussie pairing of Cat McArthur and Brianna Massie but despite a brave effort, the Kiwis fell 2.64 short in a time of 1:48.88
New Zealand banked four Olympic spots in the women’s K1 200m, K1 500m and K4 500m following the combined efforts of Carrington, Ryan, Imrie and Fisher, at the 2019 World Championships.
Back at Lake Karapiro, Hamish Legarth and Ben Duffy teamed up to take a decisive gold medal in the open men’s K2 200m final. Competing in Hawkes Bay colours the pair recorded a slick 32.80 to finish 1.13 clear of Karapiro duo Taris Harker and Tim Waller.
In the open men’s K4 final, Legarth and Duffy earned a second gold medal of the day paddling alongside Ethan Moore and Jake Koekemoer for Arawa to repel the challenge of Karapiro.
Britney Ford and Kim Thompson of Poverty Bay stormed to gold in the open women’s K2 200m, clocking a time of 40.91 – 0.59 clear of Rebecca Cole and Rochelle Austin for silver.
Ford and Thompson later combined with Brooklyn Saunders and Alex Bermingham to win open women’s K4 200m gold by a winning margin of 0.79secs from North Shore.
In the women’s under-18 division, Pieta Luthi was the star turn winning a hat-trick of gold medals over the 200m distance. The Arawa paddler edged Julia Padrutt (Waitara) by 0.26secs in a winning time of 46.94 in the K1 race. She then teamed up with Claudia Rogers to take top spot in the K2 event before Luthi also featured in the triumphant Arawa K4 boat.
Jack Wilkinson enjoyed a memorable first day of the 2020 New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships by striking double gold in the men’s under-18 division. The Hawkes Bay paddler prevailed in the K1 200m by a narrow 0.13 margin from Thomas MacGibbon (Arawa) before later combining with Daniel Brown to secure top spot in the K2 200m final.
Zane Mills-Nossiter banked a brace of gold medal in the men’s under-16 division. The Whanganui athlete claimed a decisive win the K1 200m final and also prevailed in the K2 200m alongside Angus Sewell.
In the under-16 grade, Maddison Garrett claimed a golden hat-trick over the 200m distane The Arawa paddler took out both the K1 and K4 events and took a share of the gold in the K2 event. Competing alongside Brieanna Cox the duo stopped the clock in 45.38 - precisely the same time as Genna Robertson and Natasha MacGibbon (Poverty Bay).
Sewell added to his U16 K2 200m gold to destroy the opposition in the U14 men’s K1 200m to win by a near seven second margin in 50.01.
Yannick Tinarau of the Cook Islands completed the full set of 200m gold medals with victory in the K1, K2 and K4 events in the girls under-14 division.
Up to the minute draw and results of the 2020 NZCT New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships can be found via our App (find Canoe NZ in the Play Store – free to download). Or check the Live Results Website. https://liveresults.co.nz/competition/210