Kayakers paddle for Olympic gold
Wed, 11 Apr 2012 6:49p.m.
By Michelle Pickles
Kayaker Lisa Carrington is counting down the days until the London games where she will try to turn world championship gold into Olympic gold.
But the K1 200 will not be her only focus - Carrington will also be chasing success in the K2 500, with partner Erin Taylor.
Taylor and Carrington are the poster girls of New Zealand kayaking and both are keen to live up to that billing at the London Olympics.
“You don’t go to the Olympics just to compete,” says Taylor. “We want to go there and we want to do well. We want to be at the front of the field but we just want to focus on our preparation and our performance.”
Taylor and Carrington will compete in the K2 500, while Carrington will also compete in the K1 200.
The 23-year-old became New Zealand’s first female kayaking world champion when she won gold in that event last year.
But she will be looking to 25-year-old Taylor for advice on how to handle the pressure of an Olympic Games after Taylor became New Zealand’s first female kayaking Olympian four years ago.
“She’s been there, I guess, so when we get there she’ll take me under her wing,” says Carrington.
“I was pretty overwhelmed by the whole intensity of it last time,” says Taylor. “There’s one opportunity every four years to do the business, and I think this time I’ve got a much clearer, stronger head on my shoulders and clearer objectives of what we want to do there.”
And Carrington is well aware of the pressure she could face as she heads into her first Olympic Games as a world champion.
“Everybody says it’s really overwhelming but I’m going to go in there and keep my feet on the ground. I have high expectations, you know, I want to race to the best of my ability and I hope there is a gold medal,” says Carrington.
Carrington and Taylor will begin their Olympic build up with two world cup regattas in Europe in May.
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