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Carrington bags golden double in Portugal

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/06/2016
Lisa Carrington © Getty Lisa Carrington

Lisa Carrington's attention has switched immediately to the Olympics after bagging her second gold medal at the final sprint canoe World Cup regatta of the year in Portugal.

New Zealander Carrington added the K1 500m title to the 200m crown won a day earlier in Montemor, unfurling a clever tactical race after Canadian Emilie Fournel and others burst from the blocks.

After remaining patient through the first 300m, Carrington stormed home to win by more than 1.6sec from Slovenia's Spela Janic and Poland's Ewelina Wojnarowska.

Several key rivals - including Hungarian Danuta Kozak who beat her over 500m in Germany two weeks ago - were missing but that didn't concern the 26-year-old.

"I was operating at 100 per cent of where I am right now but obviously we don't refine for these events," she said.

"There's still some more refining to go and hopefully we can see some improvement from now until Rio."

Carrington's time was similar two weeks ago but the Tauranga paddler believes she is in better shape than when she began her European campaign.

The 26-year-old is the world champion in the 200m and the 500m, as well as defending Olympic champion in the shorter distance.

While the K1 500m field is growing ever-stronger, her dominance in the 200m only seems to be increasing, with her Portuguese victory the 13th consecutive major title over the distance.

The prospect of repeating the double at Rio is daunting but one Carrington believes she needs, to keep progressing.

"I'm just really happy to be challenged and having that carrot on the end of the stick, trying to chase something and just looking forward, always on the attack, trying to work harder."

Carrington and Rio-bound K1 1000m paddler Marty McDowell will continue training in Portugal with coach Gordon Walker before a final pre-Olympic camp in Spain in July.

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