The Ohope express has done it again.
Lisa Carrington’s remarkable streak at the top of her sport had another successful chapter on Saturday night, as she took out the K1 200m final at the world championships in Szeged, Hungary.
It was her seventh successive gold in the sprint event at this level, where she is undefeated for seven years.
Carrington blitzed a quality field, to win by more than a boat length, a staggering margin in the 200m event.
The 30-year-old recorded 39.39 seconds for the distance, almost two seconds clear of the silver medallist (41.33).
Read more: How Lisa Carrington has inspired New Zealand kayaking’s great revival
She received a great reception from the large and knowledgeable crowd, and admitted afterwards it was a special moment, as she won her first world championship gold at the same venue eight years earlier.
In lane four, Carrington managed her usual blistering start, and then pulled away from the field dramatically after the first 50m.
She powered through the final half of the race, maintaining her advantage to the finish line.
The result takes her overall tally of world championship gold medals to nine, more than six ahead of the next best Kiwi (Paul McDonald with three).
Carrington’s success started in 2011 at the same venue, as she emerged from nowhere to reach the top of the podium.
The following year she came second at a World Cup event in Duisburg, Germany, as Hungarian legend Natasa Douchev-Janics flashed to the line 0.10 of a second ahead. That remains the last time Carrington has been beaten in her specialist event.
Her streak also takes in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, where she became one of a handful of New Zealanders to claim gold in successive games.
It’s perhaps even more impressive in a sprint event, where one miscalculation at the start or false stroke could mean your chances are dead.
“She is better today than she was a year ago,” said long time coach Gordon Walker ahead of this world championships. “She is better today than she was a month ago. As long as she keeps getting better, it will be very hard to catch her. You need to improve at a faster rate.”
The result continues a strong year for Carrington, and there is more to come.
She’ll compete in the K4 500 final on Sunday night, part of the New Zealand crew that were pipped for gold (by 0.01) by Hungary at the last world championships.
Carrington is also expected to be involved in the K1 500m final, hoping to repeat her double triumph of 2015.
Earlier on Saturday night Christchurch paddler Scott Martlew claimed bronze in the KL2 200m final.
Martlew, who took silver in the same event last year, recorded 43.51, trailing two time Olympic champion Curtis McGrath (Australia) by 1.16 seconds. Italian Frederico Mancarella was second.
In the C final of the K1 1000m, 21-year-old Kiwi Quaid Thompson finished seventh in the nine-man field, with German Tamas Gesco claiming gold.