After five days of intense racing, the Kiwi team can celebrate some amazing results from the ladies. Lisa Carrington has achieved her ambitious goal of a win in both the Women's K1 200m and 500m categories.
The list of Carrington's milestones is significant. With her two gold medals this year, Carrington overtakes Paul MacDonald as New Zealand's most successful world championship athlete, with five. She joins MacDonald as the only Kiwi to win two golds at the same championship and she is the first woman in 16 years - and only the third in history - to hold both the 200m and 500m titles at the same time.Canoe Racing NZ
The Women's K4 team has also succeeded in meeting the Olympic Standard and will likely be included in the NZ Olympic Team at Rio 2016. They finished in ninth place overall. They're the first NZ Women's K4 team to make the standard and, if confirmed in the Olympic team early next year, the current crew will more than double the number of females to have competed at that level. What an exciting time for NZ Women in sport.
Meanwhile, the men raced with heart but will have to compete at the Oceania Champs for their tickets to Rio. Scott Martlew placed first in the B Final of the K1 Mens 200m KL3 division, making him the tenth fastest on the day. The Men's K2 Team of Zac Franich and Darryl Fitzgerald improved a lot over the course of the competition; they placed seventh in the Mens K2 500m C Final. Marty McDowell was eliminated in the heats of his Men's K1 1000m competition, just missing out on a place in the Semi-finals.
Overall, it was a great week of racing with encouraging improvements by all the NZ Team members. The training schedules for the Oceania Champs will be intense for this group of athletes who looked focussed on their goal – making it to the Olympics in Rio 2016. Hats off to Lisa Carrington yet again, a true hero of our sport.
Lisa Carrington cruised into the finals of the Women's K1 500m, with her semi-final time beating her heat time by 5 seconds. In the other semis, Hungarian Anna Kárász was the quickest qualifier for Saturday's final with a 1:48.113 effort, as Great Britain's Rachel Cawthorn (1:48.750) and China's Yu Zhou (1:48.813) also went quicker than the Kiwi. It will be fascinating to see how quick she can be when pushed.
Meanwhile it was brutal day for the boys, with Marty McDowell missing out on the K1 1000m semi-finals by placing sixth in the fastest heat of the day. His 3:40.005 time would've got him through comfortably in four of the other six heats.
Lisa Carrington blew away the competition in the Women’s K1 500 metre A final, shining in a stellar field of high performance athletes. She looked focused, in full control from the start and steadily pulled away from the competition to lead by half a boat length at half way. Digging deep over the last 100m, Lisa tore away from the competition to finish over a boat length in front of fastest qualifier Anna Kárász of Hungary and Yu Zhou of China. It was a joy to watch the distinctive koru on her custom-painted K1 Nelo Cinco power away!
"I had an idea I was in the lead but I couldn’t back off it at any stage," a glowing Lisa said. "It was a tough race and I had to be really prepared to give it everything and do what I could because the competition was so strong. I couldn't leave anything up to chance. I'm just really pleased to get the K1 500m done and now I can refocus on the 200m."
Her winning time of 1:49.398 seconds placed her 1.727 seconds clear of rising Hungarian star Anna Kárász, with surprise third in Yu Zhou. The win makes her only the second non-European to win the 500m title, after Canada's Caroline Brunet from 1997-99. You can watch the replay here.
It was fantastic to see Lisa achieving this important milestone: she was clearly chuffed to get her ticket to Rio. But more than that, by convincingly winning the 500m – the distance that is not her strongest – she has the achieved the most ambitious part of her plan to hold both the K1 500m and 200m titles.
She is the clear favourite to win the K1 200m A Final tonight, having qualifying fastest and on a winning streak of three consecutive titles.
"It's all about keeping the challenge and trying to get better and better every year and every day. It's allowed me to become a better paddler and, as I get older, I seem to get fitter and stronger and work on more things." she said.
The K4 women also did their country proud, finishing third in their Womens K4 500m semi-final to book a place in the A final – and their ticket to Rio.
Great Britain and Germany overhauled the Kiwis in the last 50m, clocking 1min 33.635secs and 1:33.70secs respectively, but the New Zealand crew were only 0.308secs behind.
"I guess there's a pretty high likelihood we'll go to Rio now, which is a bit of a dream come true," a jubilant Fisher said. "It's been a pretty long year and there's been a lot of suffering together. It's been a year of hurting but it's all really paying off now."
Although they have only been training together for nine months, Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie have now achieved a top-ten world ranking. Footage posted to their Facebook page demonstrates how hard they have been training under coach Rene Olsen, and it shows in their much improved form. We look forward to seeing how far they can push it. Their race is due to start at 21.05 NZ time and will be live streamed here.
Unfortunately the men did not fare as well, with the K2 team of Zac Franich and Darryl Fitzgerald finishing seventh in their 1000m C final.
Testing conditions in contributed to a shaky start for Lisa. However, her impressive back stoke had her powering through the field to finish almost half a boat length ahead of Poland's Marta Walczykiwicz and Teresa Portela of Spain.
Racing was slower than expected with competitors hampered by choppy water and a side breeze: Lisa's start was shaky and she looked to be struggling at first. Impressive pace by Marta Walczykiwicz of Poland and a strong start from Teresa Portela of Spain saw Lisa coming from behind to lead at the halfway mark, accelerating impressively towards the finish with final time of 40.060 seconds – a convincing 0.640sec and 1.188sec lead over the second and third paddlers respectively.
The kiwi K4 girls raced with heart but placed last in the Women's K4 500m A Final. The strong field was won by the Belarus women who fought off the incredibly close Hungarian and German teams to achieve a winning time of 1:33.953 seconds. The NZ girls were nearly 4 seconds off the pace, came very close to the French Team.
Although hoping for a top-eight place, the girls were elated to have qualified for the A Finals, especially after only nine months as a team. Their third place in the Semi-Finals ensured they had met the technical standard for the Olympics meaning that they are likely to compete at Rio 2016.
Milan Canoe Sprint Champs You Tube Channel for replays of the racing
Sky Sport Pop up Channel 058 also played the finals on Sunday night.
Planet Canoe You Tube Channel
Wednesday 19 August 2015
Scott Martlew, MK1 200, KL3, H2 L3, 2nd in 44.186 to semi
Scott Martlew, MK1 200, KL3 ,SF1-4, 3rd in 43.688 to B final
Thursday 20 August 2015
Lisa Carrington, WK1 500, H2 L5, 1st in 1.54.291 to Semi
Lisa Carrington, WK1 500, S 1-4, 1st in 1.49.407 to A Final
Marty McDowell, MK1 1000, H1 L8, 6th in 3.40.005 - out
Zac Franich/Darryl Fitzgerald, MK2 1000, H5 L2, 6th in 3.25.729 to Semi
Zac Franich/Darryl Fitzgerald, MK2 1000, S 1-4, 6th in 3.18.344 to C Final
Friday 21 August 2015
Lisa Carrington, WK1 200, H1 L5, 1st in 40.330 to Semi
Jaimee Lovett/Caitlin Ryan/Aimee Fisher/Kayla Imrie, WK4 500, H2 L7, 2nd in 1.34.892 to Semi
Scott Martlew, MK1 200 KL3, B Final, 1st in 42.434
Saturday 22 August 2015
Lisa Carrington, WK1 500, A final, 1st in 1.49.398
Lisa Carrington, WK1 200, S 1-4, 1st in 39.925 to A Final
Jaimee Lovett/Caitlin Ryan/Aimee Fisher/Kayla Imrie, WK4 500, S2 L5, 3rd in 1.33.943 to A final
Zac Franich/Darryl Fitzgerald, MK2 1000, C final, 7th in 3:25.240
Sunday 23 August 2015
Lisa Carrington, WK1 200, A final, 1st in 40.060
Lisa Carrington has won the gold medal of the Women's K1 500m and 200m, achieving her goal of a historic double victory.
"Lisa truly is worth her weight in gold, not just for the glittering titles she brings back to our shores but also the role modeling she provides," Canoe Racing NZ boss Mark Weatherall says. "She's such a focused, disciplined athlete and having her in a New Zealand team rubs off on the other athletes. You can see how important this is by the way the K4 team has lifted this year, while a number of our younger paddlers shone at the recent under-23 world championships. She's a benchmark for all paddlers to aspire to."
After an impeccable start to the racing year, including several Gold Medals at the European Champs, Lisa is the one to beat at any event. As the commentators say, it is not only her strength but her consistency that makes her probably the best paddler in the world today. We are so proud to see her qualify for Rio where she will again be racing her Nelo Cinco and using a Jantex Gamma Rio Paddle.
Scott won the B Final of the K1 Mens 200m KL3 on Friday. In Wednesday's heats he finished third in the KL3 200m semifinal, behind Russia's Leonid Krylov (whose time of 40.168 sec was the fastest overall) and Ireland's Patrick O'Leary. Martlew's 43.688 sec effort improved on his 44.186 heat time, though not by enough. In the end he was just 0.45 seconds off making the A final and pushing for the top-six finish that would've opened up a spot in paracanoeing's Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro.
"Still disappointed I missed the A final but happy I improved from my semi to the final. Thank you to everyone that helped make this trip possible." he said on his Facebook Page. It's not the end of Scott’s road to Rio – there are four spots up for grabs at the World Championships next year in Germany. Scott had been training hard this winter in frosty Christchurch conditions: fortunately he has acclimatised to the European summer by training in the 40ºC heat in the Czech Republic over the last few weeks. Scott will be racing the new Nelo Cinco Paracanoe and a Jantex Beta Rio paddle in the LTA Category. The Worlds are the first major outing for Nelo’s new Cinco Paracanoe. Nelo are hoping it will help set some new records during the paralympic competition, as the previous incarnation - the Nelo Viper Paracanoe – did when it was launched. We're big fans – read about Scott's inspirational journey here.
McDowell has been eliminated from the K1 1000m competition. He had the unluckiest race of the day on Thursday, drawing the fastest heat of the morning and finishing sixth to miss the semi-finals by one spot. His 3:40.005 time would've been comfortably enough to progress in four of the other six heats. When Marty smashed Silver Medalist Ben Fouhy by nearly five seconds at the Nationals this year, we had to take note of his amazing speed. He did well at the European Champs too. But what's most exciting about Marty's recent form is how quickly he is improving. Despite a disappointing result at the Worlds, he will still be gunning for a place on the Rio team at the Oceania Champs later in the year.
The Women's K4 Team have placed ninth in the competition, and met the qualifying standard for the Olympics. If they are selected, it will be the first women K4 team to go to the Olympics. It's been 23 years since New Zealand last had an Olympic K4 boat, with Richard Boyle, Finn O'Connor, Stephen Richards, and Mark Scheib making the semifinals in Barcelona in 1992, after earlier men's K4 crews in 1984 and 1988.
The four team members Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Reid, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie, have been working well together and seen massive improvements under their coach Rene Olsen. Although they're a relatively inexperienced team, their confidence was boosted by good results at the World Cup in Europe earlier in the year, where members also raced in pairs in the K2 division. It will be great to see the K2 pairings from this team race in the Oceania qualifiers, if necessary. These ladies looked fast in their Nelo K4 Vanquish III kayak. Check out the training video at Lake Bled in Slovania, posted on their Facebook page.
Zac Franich and Darryl Fitzgerald finished seventh in the Saturday's Mens K2 500m C final. They finished sixth in their K2 1000m semi-final, where the top 12 K2 crews were all within 3secs of each other, with Franich and Fitzgerald less than 10secs back after a 3:18.344 semi-final effort, which was a 7secs improvement on their heat time. Zac Franich and Darryl Fitzgerald have both fought hard to get to the Worlds – on and off the water.
NZ Canoe Racing Website Check out the News and Events banner for the latest from inside the Kiwi Camp. NZ Canoe Racing Facebook Page Really good posts and links to other paddling stories in the media.
Nelo NZ website Take a closer look at the Nelo Cinco and other Nelo Boats used by the NZ Kayaking Team. ipaddle is the exclusive NZ distributor of Nelo Kayaks Jantex International Website Check out the paddles the team uses. ipaddle is the exclusive NZ Jantex distributor see Jantex paddles here