Teneale Hatton has survived a strong challenge over the latter stages of the K1 1000 final at the ICF canoe sprint world championships in Moscow to claim New Zealand's first gold medal in world record time.
The 24-year-old from Queenstown qualified fastest for the final at the venue of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and maintained her dominance by the slenderest of margins.
Hatton started strongly to build a more than 3 second advantage after a quarter of the race but she then had to withstand massive pressure from Hungarian Tamara Csipes before crossing in 3 min 49.423 seconds.
Csipes shadowed the Kiwi over the line in 3:49.474 while Serbian Dalma Ruzicic-Benedek completed a grandstand finish at the Krylatskoe Sport Palace to take bronze with a time of 3:49.780.
''I am so stoked with the win and the time is an added bonus,'' said Hatton, who had little time to reflect on her victory.
She was soon back on the water to defend the K1 5000 title she won at the previous world championships in Duisberg, Germany, last year, but the exertions of her gold medal-winning exploits took its toll.
Hatton was among clinging on to the pacesetters from the outset and had to settle for sixth behind Great Britain's winner Louisa Sawyers.
Reigning Olympic gold medallist Lisa Carrington is tasked with boosting New Zealand's medal tally tonight as he defends her K1 200 world title.
The 25-year-old won the K1 200 world title in 2011 and 2013 - either side of her Olympic Games triumph in London - recorded the fastest time across five heats at the Krylatskoe Sport Palace when cruising into her semifinal which she won in 37.961 seconds.
Carrington will also contest the K1 500 final - she won the bronze medal in Duisberg.
Fresh from a pre-regatta build-up in Portugal, New Zealand's premier canoeist won her heat and semifinal to ease into the final.
Carrington covered the distance in 1 minute 47.471 seconds, 0.8 secs behind Germany's semifinal winner Franziska Weber.
''Lisa jumped out into the lead using her 200m pace then went on to extend that lead and dominate the race, winning by one and a half boat lengths,'' said New Zealand team manager Grant Restall.
Carrington and Weber were both faster than defending K1 500 champion Danuta Kozak (Hungary) who clocked 1:49.501.
Hatton's busy programme also included the K4 500 B final with teammates Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Jaimee Lovett where the quartet placed fifth.
In the men's K1 200 Scott Bickell advanced to the semifinal stage but could not advance to the final after finishing eighth.
The men's K4 1000 crew of Martyn McDowell, Darryl Fitzgerald, Zac Quickenden and Jarrod Fitzgerald are also in the B final field today.
Meanwhile, the first New Zealander to contest a final, para-canoeist Scott Martlew was eighth in the K1 LTA 200, an event that debuts at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.
Dunedin-born and Gold Coast-based Australian soldier Curtis McGrath, who opted to race for Australia earlier this year, won the V1 TA 200 title in his world championships debut, almost two years after he lost both legs to a bomb blast while serving in Afghanistan.
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