New Zealander Carrington wins two kayaking sprint gold medals

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TOKYO (AP) – Lisa Carrington stepped onto a windy podium to accept her final gold for a kayak sprint race she has dominated for more than a decade.

But all the celebrations would have to wait. The New Zealander had one more to win about an hour later.

Carrington opened her march to the medals at the Tokyo Games with a pair of wins on Tuesday, first in the 200 singles, then in the 500 doubles with teammate Caitlin Regal, on the opening day of the kayaking medal events and in a sprint canoe.

Carrington came to Tokyo as the favorite for medals in four events and Kiwi, 32, made the first two even easier than expected.

She started with the 200, an event she has owned at the Olympics and World Championships since 2012, and made a breeze of what could have been a physically and mentally strenuous day in the heat, wind and waves. agitated. Carrington had to run four times Tuesday in the semi-finals and finals of both events.

“It was about psychology, about the mental approach. Doing those four races today was a big demand, ”said Carrington.

His third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 200m started with a bang from the start. She built a half-boat-length lead of just 50 meters into the race and sailed from there to beat Spain’s Teresa Portela by 0.76 seconds. Portela’s silver medal at the age of 39 was her first medal in six Olympics.

“She’s one of the biggest. She showed it to us today, ”said bronze medalist Emma Aastrand Jorgensen of Carrington. “I hope she retires soon so we can be there too, but I will continue to fight.”

Carrington and Regal were equally dominant in the 500, the last race of the day, and beat the silver medalist boat of Poland by almost a full second. Carrington is expected to make the 500 singles and four later this week.

New Zealand has been a powerhouse on the waters of the Sea Forest Waterway since the start of the Olympics. The Kiwis won five rowing medals, including three gold, last week.

“It made us really excited to come here and do the water justice as well,” said Regal. “It’s pretty special.”

Cuba’s victory in the men’s canoe double 1000 was the surprise of the day. Germany had won the event at five of the previous seven Olympics and Sebastian Brendel had been in the German boat for the gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

The race turned into a battle between Cuba and China for the final 500 meters. Cuban teammates Serguey Torres Madrigal and Fernando Dayan Jorge Enriquez crossed the finish line to win by 0.2 seconds.

“This moment, time has stood still, time has gone so slowly,” said Torres Madrigal. “The pain is in the body but I tried to keep my mind clear until the end.”

The Cuban duo had won silver at the world championships in 2019, but the country had not won a medal in that event at the Olympics since 2000. Germany took bronze to claim a medal in that event for the eighth consecutive time.

“The conditions here were extreme. Really windy, really hot, ”said Brendel. “Unfortunately not a gold medal, but we are happy with this bronze medal.”

Hungary finished 1-2 in the men’s 1000m kayak as Balint Kopasz dominated the final 250m to win the gold medal. Adam Varga finished second.

Kopasz arrived as the reigning world champion and was engaged in an uphill battle with Fernando Pimenta of Portugal over the first 750 meters before his final push to victory. Varga edged Pimenta by 0.047 seconds at the finish for the silver medal.

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