Kiwi K4 Women dominated their Semifinal to qualify for K4W 500m A Final in Rio.
The change around in seating positions has paid real dividends for the NZ K4 Women today. The women had a convincing win in their Semifinal to qualify them for the A Final, scheduled to start at 00:40am Sunday NZT.
The NZ Sprint Canoe team including the K4 Women's crew (left to right): Caitlyn Ryan, Aimee Fisher, Marty McDowell, Lisa Carrington, Kayla Imirie and Jaimee Lovett
The women went into day’s racing with a simple goal: to demonstrate the gruelling hard work they have been putting in over the last 18 months. “We’ve been in a rush to get fast” the youngest crew member, Aimee Fisher, told Scotty Stevenson of Sky Sport.
During the Semifinal, the girls seized the opportunity to test themselves, pushing hard throughout the race. Their time of 1:34.778 was fractionally slower than the fastest qualifier, Germany (1:34.710).
Caitlyn Ryan says she feels more stable positioned at the back of the boat, which lets her dig even deeper in the last 200m, and play to her strengths. She also praised Imrie for her ability to set up the boat perfectly from the start.
Where other teams may have saved their energy for the A Final tomorrow, the psychological lift of the win may be more useful to the Olympic newbies. Having achieved their goal of an A Final, the crew were absolutely fizzing and looking to step up their performance even more, setting their sights on the podium.
The competition will be fierce in the A Final, a star packed line-up that includes many medal winners from other divisions. New Zealand have never beaten the Belarus crew and Hungary are considered the top dogs.
There is some prestige on the water in the final and for little old New Zealand just to make the final we're stoked but but we want to go out there and give it everything with got and if we can crack into that podium will be the happiest ladies around.
Hungary go in the favourites as fastest qualifiers, as well as winning silver in ICF World Championships. and Gold in London 2012. With three members of the four crew that won the gold in London racing tomorrow, it’s an understatement to say they’re experienced.
If Hungary do win, Danuta Kozak will have the matching set of K1, K2 and K4 500m gold medals. It would make her the first woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics, an extremely rare feat, also held by NZ’s lan Ferguson.
Whatever happens, the K4 Teams achievement so far will be a massive boost for Sprint Canoe in New Zealand. Their positivity and tenacity has allowed the women to put in the hard yards. Like them, we hope it is reflected in a good result.
… Jaimee, Kayla, Aimee and Caitlin have given a raphic example to the next generation of what hard work and focus can achieve," Mark Weatherall, CRNZ boss
1 DEN Denmark
2 CAN Canada
3 NZL New Zealand
4 HUN Hungary
5 BLR Belarus
6 UKR Ukraine
7 GER Germany
8 GBR Great Britain
K4W 500m Race results
CRNZ Facebook page will have some great photos and info.
Belarus and New Zealand made quick start to take an early lead, with both crews continuing to pull away over the first 250m. Belarus put their foot down to speed away towards the finish line. New Zealand, realising that the first place was secured by Belarus, slowed their stroke rate right down to preserve their energy for the Semifinals (raced in just one hour later). This allowed the other crews to catch up, with Poland passing them just on the line to grab second, with New Zealand third. Belarus deliver a convincing clearwater win to advance straight to the A Final.
Heat 1 Official Results
1 BLR Belarus 1:30.320
2 POL Poland 1:33.020
3 NZL New Zealand 1:33.782
4 KAZ Kazakhstan 1:36.127
5 GBR Great Britain 1:36.853
6 FRA France 1:37.038
7 ARG Argentina 1:37.645
A straightforward race that saw Hungary dominate from the start, and leading all the way to the finish line. Ukraine and Germany battled for second with Germany pulling away at 250m half for a convincing second.
Heat 2 Official Results
1 HUN Hungary 1:29.497
2 UKR Ukraine 1:37.727
3 GER Germany 1:33.185
4 CAN Canada 1:34.269
5 DEN Denmark 1:36.675
6 CHN China 1:38.730
7 SER Serbia 1:39.316
The NZ crew had a stellar start, dominating the race to the end. The team looked synched, psyched and focussed on the finish line. Ukraine and Denmark fought for their A Final place with Ukraine coming a convincing second in a straightforward 250m sprint to the end.
It’s hard to say how much faster the Kiwi’s race time would have been than the heats if conditions had not deteriorated with increased chop on the water surface of the lagoon.
Semifinal 1 Official Results
1 NZL New Zealand 1:34.778 A Final
2 UKR Ukraine 1:35.512 A Final
3 DEN Denmark 1:36.302 A Final
4 CHN China 1:37.055 B Final
5 KAZ Kazakhstan 1:37.423 B Final
6 ARG Argentina 1:38.579 B Final
Germany had an easy win of 1.544 sec over the Germans and Canada, who had exactly the same time in a photo finish that could not produce a clear winner. Both teams go through to the A Final, so they can fight it out again there.
Semifinal 2 Official Results
1 GER Germany 1:34.710 A Final
2 CAN Canada 1:36.254 A Final
3 GBR Great Britain 1:36.254 A Final
4 POL Poland 1:36.532 B Final
5 SER Serbia 1:38.398 B Final
6 FRA France 1:39.069 B Final
Scott Martlew has competed his Rio Paralympic Dream with an eighth place finish in the A Final.