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Carrington dominates again at World Cup

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/06/2016

Lisa Carrington has described her latest sprint canoe World Cup win as ideal preparation for an Olympic title defence.

New Zealander Carrington powered to a gold medal in the K1 200m at the regatta in Montemor, Portugal, continuing an unbeaten international run over the distance since 2011.

Battling head and side winds she staved off an early challenge from Marta Walczykiewicz before surging clear of the Pole over the closing stages to win by more than half a second.

Carrington says she enjoyed another close tussle with Walczykiewicz and also appreciated the tricky conditions which could well greet her in Rio in August.

"These races are the best kind of training for Rio and wind conditions in Rio and Montemor are potentially similar," she said.

"It is good practice having a side wind and racing Marta is awesome. She is incredible competitor and a great athlete."

Carrington later advanced directly to the final of the K1 500m as the fastest heat qualifier.

The 26-year-old was nearly 2sec faster than her nearest rival - Austria's Ana Lehaci - and will start favourite in Sunday's final.

Not competing this week is Hungarian Danuta Kozak, who beat Carrington in the 500m final at the World Cup in Germany two weeks ago and is expected to be an enormous threat for gold over the longer distance at Rio.

Meanwhile, the other Rio-bound K1 Kiwi paddler Marty McDowell was a distant last in the nine-strong men's 1000m final.

McDowell, who has struggled with illness in Europe, scraped into the final but never threatened the lead, finishing nearly 13sec behind winner Josef Dostal of the Czech Republic.

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