6 Jun 2016

Carrington does double in Portugal

6:52 am on 6 June 2016

New Zealand's canoe sprint Olympic and world champion Lisa Carrington has won double gold at the World Cup in Portugal.

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington in action at the Canoe World Cup.

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington in action at the Canoe World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Carrington took out the K1 500 metres final overnight, to go with her victory in the shorter K1 200 on the Montemor-o-Velho course on Sunday.

And the Ohope paddler has vowed to keep searching for improvements.

Carrington kept careful track of her rivals over the first 300m, then tore them apart over the final stretch - opening up a 1.628 second margin by the finish.

Her final time was a slick 1:48.364, with Slovenia's Spela Janic second and Poland's Ewelina Wojnarowska third.

Several key rivals, including Hungarian Danuta Kozák who beat her in the 500m in Duisburg a fortnight ago, were missing but Carrington has two months to find something extra for Rio.

"Ultimately I was operating at 100 percent of where I am right now but obviously we don't refine for these events - we just refine enough to be able to compete well and learn from them," the 26 year old said.

"There's still some more refining to go and hopefully we can see some improvement from now until then."

Although her final time was similar to Duisburg, Carrington has already noticed the difference two more weeks in Europe has given her form.

"This final, I was able to have a better start, have a little bit more energy in the first 50m of my race and then just get into some rhythm. Over the last couple of weeks, with a bit more time here in Europe and a little bit more training, I've got a lot more physiological gains and I'm satisfied how the World Cup campaign has gone. We had pretty high expectations to race well and to learn a lot - at this stage, we'll go back and analyse the weekend and figure out what went well and what we can work on."

Carrington is the world champion in the 200m and the 500m, as well as defending Olympic champion in the shorter distance.

While the K1 500m field is growing ever-stronger, her dominance in the 200m only seems to be increasing, with her Portuguese victory the 13th consecutive major title over the distance.

The prospect of repeating the double at Rio is daunting but one Carrington believes she needs to keep progressing.

"I always knew that doing the 200 and 500m events is hard and I'm pretty lucky I have such a challenge with the other competitors and the 500m being such a tough event. I'm just really happy to be challenged and having that carrot on the end of the stick, trying to chase something and just looking forward, always on the attack, trying to work harder. That's all you can ask for, that type of motivation."

Carrington, Olympic team-mate and K1 1000m paddler Marty McDowell and coach Gordon Walker will stay on in Portugal to train for the next few weeks, before a final pre-Olympic camp in Spain in July.

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