Lisa Carrington has added another national title to her collection, capturing the K1 500m crown on the second day of the New Zealand canoe sprint championships in Rotorua today
The gold-winning Olympian finished in 1min 50.42secs, with North Shore's Teneale Hatton and Caitlin Ryan clocking 1.53.39 and 1.55.39 for second and third respectively. Rising Hawke's Bay star Aimee Fisher was just a second further adrift in fourth.
"I'm always really nervous going into nationals, having not raced any of the young girls through the year and you never know what they're going to do," Carrington said. "It went how I wanted it to go and kind of proved what I'm doing in training is working well."
"Every year we slightly change training - Gordy is pretty good at learning from previous years and applying it. Each year, training is getting tougher and tougher but I think that's just as I'm getting older, I'm getting fitter and building on each year."
Carrington will race her favored K1 200m distance tomorrow, as well as pairing with Kayla Imrie in the K2 200m, aiming to repeat their first-day win in the K2 500m.
Marty McDowell (Mana) sealed a notable double of his own, a day after winning the K1 1000m, pairing with North Shore's Zac Franich to win the K2 1000m. They finished in 3mins 19.75secs, just behind Australian visitors Lachlan Tame and Ken Wallace and ahead of Poverty Bay brothers Darryl and Jarrod Fitzgerald, who crossed in 3.20.46.
McDowell couldn't sustain the pace in the K1 200m, however, failing to progress past a stacked semifinal which saw reigning national champion Scott Bicknell edge his K2 partner Andrew Roy, with North Shore's Jamie Banhidi sealing the third qualifying spot.
Tame posted the fastest time in the second semifinal, ahead of Wallace and Darryl Fitzgerald, while Arawa's Chris Nutford led home clubmate Steven Drabble and Craig Simpkins (Karapiro) in the third semifinal.
Tomorrow's final is the ideal stage for a New Zealander to shine, against Olympic champion Wallace and Tame, who is the reigning world surf ski champion.