Lisa Carrington, New Zealand’s paddling superstar, set all sorts of records today when she won her third consecutive Olympic gold in the women’s K1 200.

Carrington 32,  became the first New Zealander to win the same event at the Olympics three times and lifted her number of Olympic medals to four, with three more events for her in Tokyo.

She is regarded in the world of sprint canoeing as a legend, one of the greatest paddlers in history. In New Zealand, she has dominated the sports scene since 2011, when she won her first world K1 200 title. In all the time since, she has not been beaten in that event.

In the final she was simply in another class. By 50 metres she was well clear and she increased her lead inexorably as the race progressed.

Her winning time, which bettered her own Olympic best – despite the relatively choppy conditions – was 38.120s. She beat silver medallist Teresa Portela of Spain, 38.833s, by 0.763s, which in sprint racing is enough time to stop for a coffee and a chat. Third was the Dane, Emma Jorgensen.

In truth her opponents were mere spectators witnessing one of the all-time greats at her absolute peak.

The early portents for Carrington were good today.

In her semi-final she set an Olympic best (which lasted less than two hours), winning in 38.127s, which was 0.35s ahead of second-placed Jorgensen. The other semi-final was won by Hungarian Dora Lucz in 39.713s.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Lisa Carrington Canoe/Kayak - Sprint
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