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Paddlers chasing Carrington's K1 crowns

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017

Lisa Carrington will focus on team boats at the New Zealand sprint canoe championships on Lake Karapiro, opening up a battle for the women's K1 titles.

A week after winning the Supreme Halberg Award, Olympic champion Carrington has confirmed she won't be in a single-seat boat at the three-day championships starting on Friday.

The 27-year-old will instead enjoy racing with Eastern Bay clubmates, leaving the K1 200m and 500m events she has dominated for nearly a decade up for grabs.

Olympic K4 paddler Caitlin Ryan is among those challenging over the longer distance.

"The 500 is something I've been doing really well at for the past couple of months, technically and physically, and I'd love to put together a world-class performance this week," Ryan said.

"I'm also aware there are some young girls who will be hunting that title too, though - it's exciting to see the new talent coming through and raising the standard further."

Ryan's Olympic crewmates Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie are also in contention while the fourth member of the boat which placed fifth at Rio, Jaimme Lovett, has retired.

Fisher was second to Carrington over 200m last year and placed eighth at a World Cup round in Germany.

It's a similar story in the men's division, with six-time national K1 200m champion Scott Bicknell not racing this week.

Olympic K1 1000m paddler Marty McDowell is returning from a lengthy post-Rio break and should be competitive over shorter distances.

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