It’s seventh heaven for Lisa Carrington.
New Zealand’s star kayaker powered to victory in the K1 200 final at the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary, on Saturday night (NZ time), making it seven successive world champs titles in the discipline.
The 30-year-old, who is also the two-time defending Olympic champion, is unbeaten in that format for seven years, and she certainly showed why, with a hugely dominant display to win her final by a whopping 1.94 seconds.
Carrington powered away from the start and built an early half-boat-length lead on her rivals, which was quickly transformed into a whole boat length going into the final quarter of the race.
* Carrington leads way for NZ
* K4 crew leads Kiwi assault
* Carrington speeds into semis
* Carrington chases three gold
The final had been a culmination of a classy buildup for Carrington. On Thursday morning (NZ time) she had recorded the fastest heat time, with 38.53 seconds, then on Saturday morning (NZ time) was in total control in her semifinal, with a time of 38.81 – 0.49 clear of Portugal’s Teresa Portela.
In the final she clocked 39.39 seconds, well clear of second-placed Marta Walczykiewicz, of Poland, (41.33), who was fourth at last year’s champs.
Denmark’s Emma Jørgensen, who was runner-up to Carrington in the world champs the last two years, had to settle for third, just one hundredth of a second back from Walczykiewicz, in 41.34, in a time equal with Teresa Portela, of Spain, which meant the pair share bronze medals.
In a post-race interview with the host broadcaster, Carrington noted it was a special venue for her to win at, and the crowd helped spur her on to the finish.
“I won my first K1 200 world championships here eight years ago, so this means a lot to me,” she said.
“It’s amazing to hear the crowd at the 200-metre mark, and thanks to everyone for being here, it’s really cool.”
Carrington’s success makes it one down, two to go, for her at the event, as she looks to secure a trio of gold medals at a world champs for the first time, having managed that feat at the World Cup in Poland in May.
On Sunday morning (NZ time) she will contest the semifinal of the K1 500, an event she has won twice at the world champs, but which she has finished a close second in the past two years.
Then there’s her team event, where on Sunday night (NZ time) she will jump in with Kayla Imrie, Aimee Fisher and Caitlin Ryan for the final of the K4 500, with the quartet having claimed bronze in 2017 and been pipped for the title by a Hungary crew last year.