Lisa Carrington helped New Zealand to two gold medals, Cuba won its first ever canoe sprint title and Hungary became the first country to finish first and second in a race on an action-packed day of racing at the Tokyo Olympics.

Carrington won her third consecutive women’s K1 200 gold medal, and continued an incredible unbeaten run in the event which stretches back to the year before the London Olympics.

It will be the final appearance of the women’s K1 200 at the Olympics after three Games, meaning Carrington will be the event’s only champion.

“There’s no doubt I’m incredibly gutted that this is the last time this event will be at the Olympics,” Carrington said.

“It’s given me so much, and it’s helped me in all my other events as well. It is special to be the only one, but I’m also disappointed because I was hoping there would be more people that would have the opportunity.”

Carrington finished ahead of Spain’s 39-year-old Teresa Portela, who finally broke through to win her first Olympic medal at her sixth Olympic Games. Denmark’s Emma Jorgensen, a silver medalist in the K1 500 in Rio, picked up the bronze.

New Zealand Carrington Regal Tokyo Olympics K2

Carrington teamed up with Caitlin Regal in the final race of the day to win the women’s K2 500, holding off a fast-finishing Polish boat, with the Hungary finishing third. It leaves Carrington with two medals from two events, as she aims to become the first athlete to win four canoe sprint medals at a single Games.

“I trust her so much, and I guess our whole paddling relationship is based on the trust of one another,” Regal said.

“We had a job to do and I 100 per cent trust that she is going to contribute to that, as much as I hope she believes the same. It’s a special moment to be able to sing the national anthem beside her.”

The silver medal for Poland’s Karolina Naja and Anna Pulawska continues a remarkable run that has seen the country win a minor medal at each of the past six Olympics. For Naja it was a first silver after winning bronze in 2016 and 2012.

Danuta Kozak, a gold medalist for Hungary in the K2 500 in Rio, had to settle for bronze alongside new partner Dora Bodonyi. Kozak will now concentrate on winning a third consecutive K1 500 and on helping the women’s K4 500 defend the gold it won in London and Rio.

Hungary Balint Kopasz K1 1000 Tokyo Olympics

The eagerly anticipated men’s K1 1000 turned into a Hungarian triumph, with reigning world champion Balint Kopasz leading almost from start to finish to win his country’s first gold medal in the race for more than 50 years.

The last time Hungary won the K1 1000 was in 1968. On Tuesday they also became the first country to win a gold and silver medal in any canoe sprint Olympic race, with 21-year-old Adam Varga racing home to finish second.

“It’s a huge feeling that I could beat the best champions and Olympians in this race,” Kopasz said.

“It was a very hard and long race, but I am in good form and this was the most important for me. I was mentally and physically perfect, I am in perfect shape, and in the last 200 metres I was able to go with my maximum speed.”

Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta finished third to win his country’s first ever individual canoe sprint medal.

Cuba added to the history on Tuesday by winning its first ever canoe sprint gold medal, courtesy of Fernando Enriquez and Serguey Torres Madrigal in the men’s C2 1000.

It was the first medal for 34-year-old Madrigal at his fourth Olympic appearance, while 22-year-old Enriquez was appearing at his second Games.

“I feel amazing, because I have been working for this for so many years, and this my last one, so to get the gold medal finally, I can retire and be complete,” Madrigal said.

“Every year you learn something, you learn when you win and you learn when you fail, so that’s why I am here right now. I learned for a long time. I just want to enjoy my medal, and maybe when I am home I will decide what to do.”

The Tokyo Olympic canoe sprint programme will continue on Wednesday with heats and quarter finals in the first ever women’s canoe races, the C1 200, the final Olympic appearance of the men’s K1 200, and the women’s K1 500 and men’s K2 1000.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Cuba C2 Torres Madrigal Jorge Enriquez Tokyo Olympics

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