Lisa Carrington, fellow Kiwis cruise through heats at canoe sprint World Cup

Lisa Carrington’s first strokes at elite level towards Rio this year were as emphatic as expected.

The star Kiwi paddler won her women’s K1 200m heat at the opening World Cup canoe sprint regatta of the year in Duisburg, Germany, on Friday night (NZ time).

The 2012 Olympic champion in the class blasted out to an early lead in the fourth heat and won by a length, in a time of 40.16 seconds.

Carrington, who will also contest the women’s K1 500m class at the first of three World Cup events in Europe this season, is seeking to do the double at the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.

Kiwi team-mate Aimee Fisher also easily advanced to the semifinals when she was second in the previous heat. Fisher was 0.87s behind heat winner Anastasiia Todorova of the Ukraine.

The semifinals in the women’s K1 200m were due to be contested early Saturday morning (NZ time).

Fisher is part of the NZ women’s K4 500m team that will contest their heat on Sunday morning (NZ time).

Earlier, Marty McDowell produced an impressive display to comfortably qualify for the semifinals of the men’s K1 1000m event.

The Kiwi paddler, who was recently also included in the New Zealand canoe sprint team for Rio, burst out to an early lead from lane one in the third heat.

He gave up the lead late in the race to Bulgaria’s Miroslav Kirchev, who won the heat in 3:37.20, just 1.81 seconds ahead of McDowell. The top six in each of the six nine-man heats advanced to the semifinals due to be contested early Saturday morning (NZ time).

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