Olympic flat water canoeing champion Lisa Carrington maintained the post-London 2012 form she displayed in Rotorua last month by cruising into the final of the K1 500 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre today.
The 23-year-old, who won gold in the K1 200 at Eton Dorney, was the fastest qualifier for tomorrow's final, where Australian ironwoman Naomi Flood and Carrington’s long-time rival Alana Nicholls loom as her major challengers.
Carrington resumed competing at the New Zealand sprint kayaking nationals in mid-February and won emphatically, she also set down an impressive marker in Penrith by clocking 1min 56.21secs.
Compatriot Teneale Hatton was second in 1min 58.31secs to also advance to the final.
In the other heat Flood shaded Australian Olympian Nicholls but was almost 2sec slower than the Kiwi.
Veteran Ben Fouhy also progressed automatically to the K2 1000 final with Darryl Fitzgerald by winning their heat in 3min 31.16secs, ahead of fellow Kiwi qualifiers Jason Bats and Alex Fox (3min31.91secs).
In age group events Elise Legarth won her heat to make the under-18 K1 500 final while Caitlin Ryan did likewise in the under-23 category.
William Wilkins and Ryan Quickenden also qualified for the K2 1000 final by finishing runners-up in their heat.
Meanwhile, Legarth and Britney Ford were the first Kiwis to make the podium by claiming silver in the under-16 K2 500.
In one of the last races of the day Bats, Fitzgerald, Jarrod Fitzgerald and Zac Quickenden took bronze in the K4 1000.
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