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Carrington surges into World Cup final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/06/2016
New Zealand kayaker Lisa Carrington. © Getty Images New Zealand kayaker Lisa Carrington.

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington has blasted into the final of her specialist K1 200m at the third sprint canoe World Cup regatta in Portugal.

Olympic champion Carrington clocked comfortably the fastest time of the three heat-winners on Friday to advance straight to Saturday's final.

The closest to her 42.616sec was 43.048sec from Poland's Marta Walczykiewicz.

Carrington is favoured to win over the distance at the Rio Olympics, where she will also chase victory in the more evenly-contested K1 500m. Heats for the 500m in Portugal will be raced later on Saturday.

The Tauranga paddler claimed gold over 200m at the first World Cup in Germany two weeks ago but was beaten into silver over 500m. She skipped last week's second World Cup in the Czech Republic.

Earlier, another Rio-bound athlete, Marty McDowell, scraped into the final of the men's K1 1000m.

McDowell, who has struggled in Europe with illness, was the slowest qualifier of the 18 paddlers to reach the semi-finals

He improved his time by nearly 4sec in the semis, finishing third in 3min 57.996sec behind Portuguese winner Fernando Pimenta and Australian Daniel Bowker.

It was still the slowest time of Saturday's nine finalists.

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