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Kiwi K4 paddlers ready to fire

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/05/2016

New Zealand's Olympic-bound K4 crew are looking for one last solid pre-Rio hit-out at this weekend's World Cup meeting in the Czech Republic.

Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie will be the sole Kiwis in action at Racice, with Lisa Carrington and Marty McDowell preparing instead for the third World Cup meeting in Portugal next week.

The K4 crew impressed in Germany last weekend at the first World Cup of the season, finishing fifth in the 500m and picking up bronze in the non-Olympic K4 200m.

Coach Rene Olsen is impressed with the progress his crew have shown.

"World Cup 1 really showed how far we have come, over the last nine months, with our speed and our strength work," he said.

"It was a much stronger appearance at international level - they just handled themselves way, way better.

"They really believe they belong up there and they're not afraid of going out and giving the world champions a run for their money."

The proof of that came in both the K4 500m and 200m finals last weekend, where Lovett, Ryan, Fisher and Imrie led off the start in both races ahead of world champions Belarus.

That surpassed speed goals they'd set after the world championships and left Olsen encouraged as he plans the next 10 weeks of training.

"Analysing the race out of World Cup 1, we could see that we were the crew with the most distance per stroke, which shows that the girls really have the strength they need," Olsen said.

"It's much easier for us, over the last 75 days, to gain the speed endurance than it is for the other crews to try to be stronger than they are right now."

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