Double gold for New Zealand kayaker Carrington
TOKYO, Aug 3, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - New Zealand's Lisa Carrington continued an extraordinary nine-year unbeaten streak to win the 200-metre single-kayak sprint in Tokyo on Tuesday, then backed it up to claim gold in the 500m.
Carrington's golden double makes her New Zealand's most successful female Olympian, with four golds and one silver over three Games dating back to London 2012.
Three of the gold medals came in the 200m solo sprint, an event the 32-year-old has dominated without defeat since 2012, a run which also includes seven world titles.
Carrington, an indigenous New Zealander who earlier this year was named the most influential Maori athlete of the past 30 years, described her hectic morning as "awesome".
"Today was a busy day," she said after the 500m win with partner Caitlin Regal. "It was exciting, the conditions were challenging -- it was more than just physical.
"It's unbelievable that we could do that. In training, you're working hard and you think you might have a chance, but to put it together on the day is a special thing."
Carrington has the chance to boost her medal tally when she contests the single 500m on Thursday and the four-woman 500m on Saturday.
Success in either event would take her beyond fellow kayaker Ian Ferguson -- who also has four golds and one silver from the Seoul and Los Angeles Games in the 1980s -- on New Zealand's all-time medal table.
Carrington set an Olympic record of 38.120 seconds in the 200m solo, beating Teresa Portela of Spain (38.883) and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen (38.901).
She joined Regal less than an hour later and the New Zealand pair set another Games record of 1:35.785 the dual 500m, ahead of Poland (1:36.753) and Hungary (1:36.867).
Carrington said ahead of the Tokyo Olympics that she was not dwelling on her long unbeaten run in the 200m, preferring to focus on upcoming challenges.
"I guess you don't want to lose the streak you have, but I purposefully try not to focus on it," she told Sports Illustrated.
"It doesn't matter because my next race matters. Maybe later I'll have a peaceful moment thinking 'Wow, that's really cool, it's really special', but I'm still striving for the next thing as well."