Lisa Carrington is absolutely glowing this morning after winning the gold medal in the WK1 200 metre a final, and clocking a new Olympic Best time of 39.864sec.
This beats her previous Gold Medal winning Olympic Best time, set at the 2012 London Olympics, of 40.528sec. She also holds the World Record time of 37.898sec, set in 2014 at the ICF World Champs in Russia. What a legend.
It was Lisa's 14th consecutive major title over the distance, which includes three of her four World Championships and a number of ICF World Cup series rounds. She now has the chance to join the likes of New Zealand Olympic legends like Sir Peter Snell and Ian Ferguson - winners of multiple golds at the same games - when she lines up in the K1 500m later today.
Looking more relaxed and confident with in herself than yesterday, Lisa smiled while manoeuvring her boat into the starting blocks. Near perfect conditions in Rio produced a pond-like surface and there was no wind to speak of. The race was on!
The start could not have been tighter – it was impossible to tell who was in the lead, although one thing was clear: France, Poland and Azerbaijan were all slightly ahead at the 50m mark.
Carrington dug deep, showing her distinctive focus to quickly get her Nelo K1 Cinco up to speed. Pushing through the pain, Carrington slowly gained momentum until, by about the 100m mark, she started to pull ahead of the pack, finishing with a final flourish half a boat length in front of her opponents, in an Olympic Best time of 39.864sec.
The next four place holders all finished within 0.615sec of each other in a phenomenally close race.
Marta Walczykiewicz of Poland, always the Bridesmaid (but happy to be today) took the silver in 40.279sec followed closely by old foe Inna Osipeyko-Rodomska of Azerbaijan in 40.40sec. Spela Ponomarenko Janic (Slovenia) was fourth and Sarah Guyot (France) was fifth.
1 NZL CARRINGTON Lisa 39.864
2 POL WALCZYKIEWICZ Marta 40.279
3 AZE OSIPENKO-RODOMSKA Inna 40.401
4 SLO PONOMARENKO JANIC Spela 40.769
5 FRA GUYOT Sarah 40.894
6 ESP PORTELA RIVAS Teresa 41.053
7 SWE STENSILS Linnea 41.293
8 KAZ KLINOVA Inna 41.521
Nail biting stuff! Fantastic racing.
Carrington showed real guts as it was the first time in the Olympics she did not lead from the front throughout the race.
Sky commentator Scotty Stevenson asked her post race, how hard Carrington and coach Gordon walker worked to achieve this result?
It was really tough, we keep trying all the time to get better and, I mean, that was hard – because we're just keep pushing those boundaries: see how much more can I do; how much how much faster can I go; how much stronger; all that type of thing, so when I'm out there I'm just trying to beat myself.
For now, Lisa says, she will try to calm down, embrace the moment, acknowledge what's happens and spend time with her family before the K1W 500m Heats and Semifinal tomorrow (scheduled to start at 00:50 Thursday NZT).
Carrington's message to NZ:
Thanks guys for watching the support from home is amazing, I hope that you guys are proud.
Sure did Lisa. Amazing result – she's a true inspiration to generations of NZ paddlers.
Scott Martlew has competed his Rio Paralympic Dream with an eighth place finish in the A Final.