Kiwi kayakers off to fast start at worlds

New Zealand kayaker Lisa Carrington managed to prune her hectic world championship schedule by at least one race overnight, pairing with Caitlin Ryan to win their K2 500m heat and progressing straight through to the Saturday night’s final.
As well as not having to race the semifinal later in the day on the Racice course in the Czech Republic, it was also an important pschological win for the Kiwis, in their first time racing together at a major regatta and finding themselves in the same heat as highly-rated German pair Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze.
Their 1:41.371  effort was the fastest of the day, however, and they joined Hungary’s Tamara Takacs and Ninetta Vad (1:42.073) and Slovenia’s Spela Ponomarenko Janic and Anja Osterman (1:43.749) in progressing straight from the heats.
“There’s never an easy road to the finals, so we wanted to really give it a crack at winning today so we could go straight through,” Carrington said. “It was good for both of us to get out there finally in the K2 and finally have a crack, we’ve been waiting for a little while now.”
Carrington also got her K1 500m title defence off to a solid start, easing into Saturday’s A final. She was second in her K1 500m heat in 1:54.789, 0.450 behind Serbia’s Milica Starovic, and second in her afternoon semifinal in behind Volha Khudzenka (Belarus).
Khudzenka’s time of 1:52.015 and Carrington’s 1:53.742 were the fastest for the final.
Tonight’s action sees Carrington lining up in her favoured K1 200m heat, then joining the K4 with Ryan, Kayla Imrie and Aimee Fisher for their K1 500m heat.
Caitlin Ryan (left) and Lisa Carrington on their way to victory in their heat of the K2 500m at the world championships in Racice, Czech Republic.  Photo by Balint Vekassy/