Kayla Imrie says a strong team spirit has helped New Zealand’s sprint kayakers to a record world championship medal haul in Portugal.
Imrie, Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Ryan and Aimee Fisher combined to win three silvers and one gold medal at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Montemor-o-Velho.
Para-canoeist Scott Martlew also won silver in the KL2 200m, helping New Zealand to a record five medal haul.
26-year-old Imrie says despite some close finishes the athletes are wrapped with how they went.
“We’re over the moon with our results! We had three photo finish races that didn’t go our way but that’s what sport is all about. The excitement keeps you coming back for more and it’s just made us hungrier than ever for next year.”
Above: Imrie and Fisher in the K2 200m
Imrie believes the athletes and support teams are gelling extremely well, resulting in strong performances.
“I put our successes down to the team nature of our women’s program. Athletes, coaches and support staff value each other extremely highly and know that everyone plays an important role towards the overall success.”
Canoe Racing NZ CEO Tom Ashley is extremely pleased with the performance.
“The athletes have been amazing and it says a lot about the work that this group of athletes and coaches have put in to produce a best ever World Championships medal count.
“One of the most impressive facts to consider is, we are working with such a small talent pool of athletes compared to many other nations and punching well above our weight. We saw some incredible racing across the regatta, and we were a little unlucky to miss out on gold to some brilliant teams in three races by less than five hundredths of a second.”Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Kayla Imrie Lisa Carrington Aimee Fisher Caitlin Ryan