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Kiwi kayaker wins World Cup gold

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/05/2017

New Zealand kayaker Caitlin Ryan has won her first individual World Cup gold, streaking home in the final of the K1 500m in Portugal.

With world champion teammate Lisa Carrington focusing on team boats, Ryan maintained the Kiwi dominance in the event with a world-class time of one minute 47.484sec in her first K1 race at World Cup level.

She was nearly 2sec clear of Slovenia's Spela Janic (1:49.439), with multiple world and Olympic medallist Hungarian Krisztina Fazekas-Zur third in 1:50.119 over the Montemor-o-Velho venue at the first World Cup of the season.

"I've recently just changed my training environment and I just wanted to put together all the components I've been working on - I think it came together nicely," Ryan said.

"The standard has really stepped up in New Zealand, and Lisa has set a really good precedent for us."

Carrington and Aimee Fisher had earlier comfortably qualified for the K2 500m final, smashing their heat in 1:42.46 to qualify directly.

They'll be joined in the final by compatriots Kim Thompson and Rebecca Cole, who were less than a second behind Hungary's Noemi Lucz and Zsofia Szenasi in the other heat.

Carrington and Fisher will also contest the K2 200m heats, alongside Briar McLeely and Kayla Imrie, while two New Zealand K4 500m boats will line up in a straight final with Mexico, Ukraine, Spain, Great Britain, Hungary and Portugal.

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