Olympic champion Lisa Carrington and world champion Fernando Pimenta reminded their opponents of their class on Friday ahead of this weekend’s finals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Dartmouth.

Carrington is looking to win her third K1 500 world title, and to regain the crown she last won in 2019. On Friday she made a big statement by posting the fastest semi-final time. The New Zealander is hoping to win the 200 and 500 metre double in Canada.

“It was a tough race, good, but there’s a bit of a headwind out there so you have to strategically paddle a little different, a little longer, but it’s nice to have a good hit-out today,” Carrington said.

“I’m taking as much learning as I can from here, all the time just to make sure when we get to Paris we’re in good shape.

“It’s really good to do (the 200m), it’s such a great expression of speed, so I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.”

Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta is also looking for his third K1 1000 title, but will face a tough challenge from what is shaping as one of the most even finals at this year’s world championships.

On Friday he posted the fastest semi-final time. Czech Josef Dostal was second fastest, but is making the K1 500 his priority this weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to the 500, and then just one hour later is the 1000, so it’s going to hurt, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Dostal said.

“I don’t care that it’s not an Olympic event, it’s not the Olympic Games. It’s not even a qualifier for the Olympic Games. A title from a world championships is still a world title.”

Australia’s Jean Van Der Westhuyzen and Thomas Green are eying off their first world title in the new Olympic K2 500 event. The pair won K2 1000 Olympic gold in Tokyo and have taken a while to transition to the shorter distance.

“I think it’s always hard, the 1000 to 500, there’s always going to be depth in the race so for sure it’s a new challenge, but it’s been great to work on some different stuff this year,” Van Der Westhuyzen said.

“We’ve still got a lot to work on, a lot to improve, so it’s great to have a new distance race.”

Portugal’s Joao Ribeiro and Messias Baptista posted the fastest K2 500 semi-final time.

The first canoe sprint medals will be decided on Saturday.


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