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Bigger challenge awaits NZ sprint kayakers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017

The job gets harder this week for New Zealand's sprint kayakers, still riding a high from their record gold medal haul at the opening World Cup event.

The eight-strong all-women team snared a record Kiwi haul of four gold medals last week in Portugal, aided by the decision of Olympic champion Lisa Carrington to compete in team boats.

Matching that result in the second World Cup regatta in Szeged, Hungary this week could be a challenge, with several big-name European paddlers returning to the water.

The number of paddlers (800) and nations (66) has more than doubled, with powerhouse Hungary boosting its stocks considerably.

That could provide problems in the women's K4 500m, where Olympic champions Hungary and silver medallists Germany are back to take on last week's triumphant Kiwi combination of Carrington, Aimee Fisher, Kayla Imrie and Caitlin Ryan.

Elsewhere, there is a shuffle among the New Zealand combinations.

Ryan, who was victorious in the K1 500m, makes way in the boat for Carrington. The pair will combine in the K2 500m, where Carrington and Fisher had been successful.

Canoe Racing New Zealand chief executive Mark Weatherall is keen to see how the Kiwis respond to their success of last week.

"This weekend will give us a much better idea of where our various crews stack up internationally and how much work they'll need to do before the world championships later this year," he said.

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