New Zealand’s sprint canoeists have showcased their growing talent to claim four gold medals at their first World Cup of the season.
Three-time Olympic medallist Lisa Carrington was involved in three of the four medals.
Carrington was dominant in the K1 200m and K1 500m before teaming up with Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie to claim the top spot in a thrilling K4 500m final.
“This weekend the standard was really high,” said Carrington.
“This was an opportunity for me to practice against some tough competition and use it to rise to the challenge and also work on a few things strategy-wise.
“The conditions were challenging, windy with lots of water movement, so to be able to paddle through that was pleasing.”
Para-canoeist Scott Martlew won the other gold for New Zealand. The Christchurch athlete crossed the line a full boat length clear of the opposition in the KL2 200m.
Meanwhile the All Blacks Sevens secured their quota spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The team placed fifth at the London 7s, ensuring they will finish the series in the top four and therefore nab one of the four automatic Olympic qualifying spots.
“Qualifying for the Olympics was always one of our main goals,” said Regan Ware.
“It [Olympic Qualification] didn’t get brought up that much, we just focussed on the first job which was to beat Scotland and took it step by step,” said Sione Molia.
The All Blacks Sevens lost their quarter final matchup against France 19-14 but outdid Ireland in the fifth-place playoff with a 35-14 win.
Twelve teams qualify for Tokyo 2020, with hosts Japan gaining automatic entry, along with the top four from the 2018-19 world series circuit, while the remaining seven sides will have to win through from regional qualifying tournaments.
In Portugal laser sailor Sam Meech continue his consistent run of form to take silver in the European Championships.
The 28-year-old went into the day in sixth place but won the first race of the day and backed it up with a seventh to sneak into the silver medal position.
Meech has collected silver at all three events he's competed in this year, the consistency helping him to be ranked No 1 in the world.
"I'm stoked with that," said Meech.
"I knew I needed a good day and wasn't 100 percent sure it was possible so I just kept trying until the end and made up for my first day of gold fleet which wasn't so good.
“It's another good end to the trip.”
Meech will have a short training block at home before heading for the Laser world championships in Japan followed by the Olympic test event.
In the UK squash athlete Paul Coll put up a superb fight against the world number one in his British Open semi-final match.
Coll took on Egyptian Ali Farag in a five-game marathon but went down 0-12, 11-7, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7.
The 27-year-old from Greymouth was the first Kiwi male to make the last four of the prestigious event since Ross Norman in 1989.
Joelle King advanced to the quarter-finals in the women’s division but was knocked out by Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb.Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Paul Coll Sam Meech Lisa Carrington