Lisa Carrington keen to continue crew boat canoe racing after world champs success

Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Ryan won gold in the women's K2 500m event at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in ...
PHOTOSPORT

Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Ryan won gold in the women's K2 500m event at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.

Expect to see more of Lisa Carrington in crew boats over the coming years.

The dual Olympic gold medallist in the women's K1 200 class excelled at the recent canoe sprint world championships in the Czech Republic, collecting medals in all four events she contested.

That raised the prospect that the 28-year-old could continue to shine individually while also becoming a fixture in New Zealand's K2 and K4 canoes as plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics take shape.

Carrington said she wanted to do "as many as possible" events over the next few years, but is also aware a condensed Olympics race programme may limit her capabilities.

READ MORE: Kiwis, Carrington collect four medals

"It's partly a matter of what I'll be able to do," said Carrington, who may have to contest races with as little as 40 minutes break between them at Tokyo should she stay in crew boats.

"But I want to do what's best for the sport, and for New Zealand."

In Racice, Carrington maintained her dominance in the K1 200 event by winning her sixth consecutive world championship gold, to go with the Olympics golds she won over the shortest distance at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

She also teamed up with Caitlin Ryan to win gold in the K2 500, claimed silver in the K1 500 and bronze in the K4 500 with Ryan, Kayla Imrie and Aimee Fisher.

Carrington said contesting four events over four days wasn't as taxing as she initially expected it to be and felt her vast experience of racing at the highest level helped her cope, while her training programme this year didn't differ greatly.

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"I obviously spent a bit more time in crew boats forming combinations, but my own training didn't change much.

"I was just able to train harder this year, like I have in recent years - I've been able to push myself harder as I've got stronger and fitter over the years."

Carrington tried to keep expectations measured in her venture into the unknown.

"I knew pretty much what I wanted from my individual events, which was to race as well as I could.

"With the crew boats races, there's a lot more things that can happen when there's more than just one of you. So I didn't have specific goals, but I was hoping we'd do well and it turned out that we did great."

After saying earlier this year that being part of a crew boat gave her career a fresh mental lift, Carrington found that also to be true at the world champs.

"I found it kind of allowed me to relax a little more around my individual events. I didn't have to think about them so much."

Carrington, of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki and Ngāti Porou descent, has been named Maori Sportsperson of the Year four times in the past five years and said Maori Language Week was a wonderful opportunity to grow the language among all New Zealanders.

"The culture is hugely important and because it's such an oral culture, retaining and promoting the language is a key to that," she said.

 - Stuff

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