Any concerns Lisa Carrington’s decision to add team boats to her repertoire might impact her individual races were blown away in Szeged on Friday, when the New Zealander blitzed the field in her first K1 500 race of the season.

While it was only a heat, Carrington showed no ill effects from sitting out individual races last weekend to be one of the most impressive performers on day one of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 2.

Carrington also teamed with Caitlin Ryan to easily win their K2 500 heat, finishing more than one second ahead of German Olympic silver medallists Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze.

Saturday’s men’s K1 1000 final is shaping as a Rio re-run, with gold medallist Marcus Walz, silver medallist Josef Dostal, Portugal’s Ferdinand Pimenta, Denmark’s Rene Poulsen and Slovakia’s Peter Gelle all in Saturday’s final.

Dostal, who finished second behind Germany’s Tom Liebscher in his semi-final, is hoping conditions will improve for him in the gold medal race.

“I don’t like the water here, because for me it is very tough,” he said.

“And the back wind, for a guy like me with this weight, it is very hard to compete.

“But luckily I made it to the final, and we will see tomorrow. I am sometimes very bad in semi-finals, but then I can show up in finals.”

Spain’s Walz was one of the few Olympic medallists to find the going tough on Friday, just sneaking into Saturday’s final as the fastest third place getter.

Denmark’s Olympic K1 500 silver medallist, Emma Jorgensen, who relegated Carrington to third in Rio, failed to make tomorrow’s final.

German Olympic gold medallists Sebastian Brendel and Jan Vandrey cruised into the final of the C2 1000, but the Rio bronze medallists from the same event, Ukraine’s Dmytro Ianchuk and Taras Mishchuk had to settle for fourth in their semi and will miss the final.

The Rio gold and silver medallists in the men’s K1 200 showed they have been working hard in the off-season, with Great Britain’s Liam Heath and France’s Maxime Beaumont winning their Friday afternoon heats.

Brazil’s Isaquias Santos, a hometown hero after winning silver in the C1 1000 in Rio, will face fellow Olympic finalists, Czech Martin Fuksa and Italian Carlo Tacchini.

After dominating the C1 races in Portugal one week ago, Hungary’s Virag Balla will face a sterner test in Saturday’s C1 500 final, after finishing second behind Canada’s Katie Vincent in her semi-final.

Serbia’s Olympic K2 1000 silver medallists Marko Tomicevic and Milenko Zoric will start red hot favourites in the final, while Australia will have two women, Alyssa Bull and Cat McArthur, in the final of the K1 1000.

In medals decided Friday, German Paralympic silver medallist Edina Muller won the KL 1 200 gold in front of a big contingent of family and friends.

“I was a little sick at the start of the season for about two months, so I’m just happy that I’m back and it’s working really well again,” she said.

“Szeged is a very special competition for me, I’ve never been here but I’m half-Hungarian, so my whole family could come.

“I have a nice little home crowd here, my 80-year-old Grandmother could come and watch my first race in canoe, so that was very special for me.”

France’s Remy Boulle won the KL men’s 200, Russia’s Nadezda Andreeva the KL2 women’s 200, and another Russian, Victor Potanin, taking the VL3 men’s 200.

The ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 2 continues in Szeged this weekend.

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