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Slick World Cup start from NZ paddlers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/05/2017

New Zealand's paddlers have fired an early warning shot to their international rivals with an impeccable start to the sprint canoe World Cup in Portugal.

Lisa Carrington's switch to focusing on team boats looks set to pay dividends after she and Aimee Fisher dominated the heats of the K2 500m in Montemor-o-Velho.

The pair were more than five seconds faster than their nearest rivals from Portugal to qualify directly for the final.

The other heat was considerably slower, with the inexperienced Kiwi combination of Kim Thompson and Rebecca Cole placing second behind Hungary.

Caitlyn Ryan capitalised on double Olympic champion Carrington's decision to take a temporary break from the single boat.

Ryan, a member of the well-performed women's K4 at last year's Rio Olympics, powered to victory in her K1 500m heat, clocking the fastest time in an overall field of 17.

Her time of 1min 48.940sec was more than 2sec quicker than veteran Slovenian Spela Janic, earning a direct place in the final.

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