New Zealand had a mixed time of it in the opening session of the canoe sprinting at Eton Dorney today. Darryl Fitzgerald and Steven Ferguson qualified for the K2 1000 men final, but K1 1000 entrant Ben Fouhy missed out on making his final. Fitzgerald and Ferguson finished fourth in their heat to progress to the semi-finals. The New Zealand pair were sixth and last until after the 750m mark, but powered home strongly over the final 250m to move into fourth. Their time was 3min 16.608s. In their semi-final, the New Zealand pair improved their time and finished third in 3min 15.307, good enough to make the final. They held second until the final stages of the race, when they were passed by fast-finishing Australians Dave Smith and Ken Wallace, but were still a comfortable third, with a margin of 2.4s to fourth. Their semi-final was won by Swedes Markus Oscarsson and Henrik Nilsson in 3min 13.125s. Fouhy began the day promisingly with a second-placed effort in the K1 1000 heat. The Aucklander, a former world champion and Olympic silver medallist, began slowly but came home well and was timed at 3min 35.610s. He improved his time markedly in his semi-final later in the morning but was unable to make the A final. Fouhy finished sixth in the first semi in a time of 3min 32.572s, well behind the winner, Canadian Adam van Koeverden, who clocked 3min 28.209s. The Aucklander was fourth after 250m, but slipped back and by halfway was seventh. He finished strongly, but was more than two seconds outside the time he needed to get through to the final. Fouhys time ranked him 11th of the semi-finalists and he will now paddle in the B final.
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