'Spectacular' - Fisher upbeat despite loss to Carrington

Source: 1News

Aimee Fisher is upbeat, as the battle for New Zealand's sole K1 500 spot in the Canoe Sprint World Championships continues.

It could have ended on Lake Karāpiro on Sunday morning had Fisher beaten Dame Lisa Carrington once again, as she did on Saturday.

But, Carrington took out the latest race - she was 0.11 seconds faster than Fisher.

It meant the best-of-three trial series will continue on Thursday - the International Canoe Racing Federation rules mean each country can only have one entry per event at the World Championships.

Fisher told 1News that rule was simply part of the gig, as cutthroat as it was.

The reigning world champion said the competition brought out the best in her and Carrington.

"What a showdown," she said of Sunday's race.

"How spectacular that we can front two paddlers like that and put on a race like that. Pretty special eh? She [Carrington] outclassed me today, so kudos to her."

Fisher said she thought she was coming in hot on Carrington as the race began.

Then things "really started to lock up" and she found herself "hanging on for dear life" in the water, she added.

"She had the legs on her today and she got me," Fisher said of the five-time Olympic gold medallist.

As for her plans ahead of Thursday, Fisher said she would take some time to reflect, reset, and "get hungry again".

Carrington's coach Gordon Walker praised both competitors.

When asked how Carrington turned around Saturday's result in just one day, Walker said it was about her rising to the challenge.

"It's actually about the battle. It's a proper contest and it's about being open to the contest and bringing that in and welcoming it."

Walker said part of it was just considering Saturday like any other day, whether that be a hard gym or paddle session.

Then, it was about going back to basics, looking at what habits worked, and staying true to that without getting too distracted, he said.

"One of the things that has made her [Carrington] as great as she is is she will ask herself the hard questions and get proper answers, honest answers. You can't be a champion for a decade without being able to do that sort of thing often."

After Saturday, he said it was the little things that needed to be tweaked in what otherwise was a good race for Carrington.

Walker acknowledged the fight for one spot in the World Championships was tough, but that it was "great for the sport" to see both women perform the way they did.

He said he didn't know what arrangement could allow both Carrington and Fisher to head to the World Championships, which will be held in Canada in August.

There was also "still a bit of work to do" in any situation that might see the two women paddle together, Walker added, with Carrington also looking at the K2 and K4.

"It's really up to Aimee to figure out what she wants to do with the K1. Now she's figuring out her own training and how she gets herself really well-prepared. Whether that could be folded into a K2 as well, time will tell us on that.

"You see two very fast people together. It doesn't always translate to the fastest boat."