In the best traditions of Lisa Carrington, the New Zealand women powered into the K2 500 kayaking final with two good performances today.
The New Zealand paddlers – Jaimee Lovett, Kayla Imrie, Aimee Fisher and Caitlin Ryan - finished third in their heat behind Bulgaria and Poland, recording 1min 33.782s.
Into the semi-final a short time later, the New Zealanders looked really good. They got into a beautiful rhythm and won comfortably in 1min 34.778s. There was nearly a full second’s gap back to second-placed Ukraine.
Not surprisingly, the New Zealanders were fairly chipper when they returned to base.
“Olympic final's got a bit of a ring to it, eh?” said Fisher. “It means so much, but it’s not done yet.”
All four paddlers said they had drawn inspiration from Carrington, who won the K1 200 gold medal and the K1 500 bronze this week.
Imrie said making the final was a dream come true. “And to do it the way we did. We went out thre and paddled as a team,” she said.
Ryan too was pleased with the way they had gelled. “We never really knew what we had in us [when got together], but as we progressed we thought, ‘Why not?’ We’ve always though of ourselves this year as being medal contenders and today we showed we really are in the race.”
Team manager Grant Restall was delighted. “That was very impressive for a new crew,” he said. “They held together under strong pressure and showed maturity beyond their years. They have been able to execute a race plan into a great performance.
“Their performances today have been very consistent. It will be an interesting race tomorrow - they are the new guard challenging the old guard.”Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Kayla Imrie Caitlin Ryan Jaimee Lovett Aimee Fisher Lisa Carrington Canoe/Kayak - Sprint