Kiwi paddler Lisa Carrington has powered to her seventh consecutive victory in the K1 200m final at the canoe sprint world championships in Hungary.
The star kayaker and two-time defending Olympic champion won by nearly two seconds and remains undefeated in the discipline since 2012.
Carrington’s road to the final in Szeged had been a model of consistency – the 30-year-old coasted through qualifying and semifinals, more than half a second clear of her nearest rivals.
And her performance in the final was flawless. Paddling into a slight headwind, Carrington clocked 39.39s, finishing well ahead of Polish powerhouse Marta Walczykiewicz (41.33s).
The result ensures New Zealand have qualified a boat for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“It was cool to be back in Szeged, eight years on from my first world championship victory in the K1 200m,” she said. “I really experienced those similar feelings of excitement and nerves.
“It was very special to come back here and qualify New Zealand a boat for the K1 200m for next year’s Olympics. Eight years ago, that was all I wanted to do – go the Olympics – so to still be world champion today and qualify a boat for the Olympics is really special.”
But she still has work to do in Hungary.
Carrington hopes to repeat her World Cup performance in Poland in May, when she won a trio of gold medals.
Still to come, she will contest both the K1 500m and K4 500m finals, alongside Kayla Imrie, Caitlin Ryan and Aimee Fisher.