New Plymouth's Andrea Bunn won gold at the world marathon kayak championships in Rome on Thursday.
The 41-year-old former Olympian won the masters women's event for paddlers aged 35 to 44 years.
Bunn powered away from the start line to immediately gain a two to three boat-length lead from her rivals and never looked back. Strong portages helped her maintain her lead throughout the race as she won comfortably.
Bunn is no stranger to international competition, having raced for Great Britain at three Olympics - Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. She moved to New Zealand in 2006.
Bunn said the weather conditions were ideal, being much cooler than other days, but the course was quite choppy because of the 125 paddlers being on the water at the same time.
New Plymouth's Paul Randall finished 14th in the masters men's race for 35 to 40-year-olds, with Wellington's Glen Muirhead 10th in the masters men's race for 40 to 44-year-olds. It was Randall's first taste of international competition and the experience he gained in the challenging conditions will be invaluable when he competes in the K2 elite men's 30km race tomorrow along with Adam Fraser, of New Plymouth.
The race will be Fraser's second at the championships - his first is today in the K1 elite men's 30km race.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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