Amid all the excitement over Lisa Carrington’s astonishing feats, the effort of New Zealand kayakers Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie in the men’s K2 1000 should not be overlooked.
They finished fifth in a final few had expected them to even qualify for, recording 3min 17.684s.
Brown and Imrie entered the K2 1000 hoping they would progress past the first round. They did that and then raised some eyebrows in their second race yesterday when they paddled so strongly they made the semi-finals.
In today’s semis the New Zealanders raised their game further and finished second to defending Olympic champions Australia.
So the two “unknown New Zealanders”, both at their first Olympics, lined up for the final and finished a proud fifth.
“We’re over the moon with that,” said Imrie, 25, afterwards. “Coming into the Olympics we were wondering how we’d go, but to come fifth after being 19th at the 2019 world champs…you couldn’t ask for more.”
Brown, 26, said they had surprised themselves in today’s semi-final. “That was our final in a way. We looked at the other crews and there seemed to be world champions in every boat. But we gave it a crack and ended up second to the Aussies.”
Brown said in the final he felt they were last at one point. “I thought, ‘That can’t happen’ and we wound it up and got up to fifth.”
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games