27 May 2024

Aimee Fisher beats Lisa Carrington again in last regatta before Olympics

5:27 am on 27 May 2024
New Zealand canoe sprint paddler Aimee Fisher.

New Zealand canoe sprint paddler Aimee Fisher. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Aimee Fisher has rocketed into favourite for Olympic gold in Paris after another nail-biting victory over the reigning Games champion, and New Zealand teammate, Dame Lisa Carrington.

The match-up between the two New Zealanders was billed as the contest of the latest Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poland - and the race did not disappoint.

Fisher has spoken about how her road back to the Olympics has been unconventional, choosing to sit out the Tokyo Olympics. The now 29-year-old reminded the world of her class when she won the K1 500 world title just months after Tokyo.

And now in the space of two weeks she has twice beaten her New Zealand rival, and the undisputed Queen of the 500, Lisa Carrington. In Szeged she ran down the Olympic and world champion, but today in Poznan she went toe-to-toe, eventually squeezing out a win by just 0.05 seconds.

"I was so nervous this morning," Fisher told the International Canoe Federation.

"I woke up and felt like I could not do this, it's too big. But I just went through the day one step at a time, through the warm-up, through the semi final. That was a tight race. We were on the start long for a very long time and I just had to be patient.

"I just really wanted to be courageous in the first 250. You saw in Szeged that I got quite far behind so for me today it was a real call to be bold and roll the dice a little and it bloody hurt in the last 200. I could feel it was close, I could hear people shouting. Wow, what a contest."

Fisher said she was enjoying the match-ups against Carrington, but knows the bar will be lifted to another level in Paris.

"We have raced so many times now that it comes down to centimetres so you have to just treat every stroke with respect because you know she is going to be right there," Fisher said.

"For me it was that calm, peace and trusting and I just imagined my family and my people shouting for me at home, praying for me and covering me. Just try to surrender to that.

"It's good to come out here and get the win but you know what, when the Olympics come around it will be winner takes all. From now, I need to reset as I have a lot of work to do and I am going to be working hard every single day."

Carrington took the silver, with Poland's Anna Pulawska more than three seconds back in third.

Carrington and Alicia Hoskin won the K2 500 final with Fisher and Lucy Matehaere eighth.

Carrington, Hoskin, Olivia Brett and Tara Vaughan were second in the K4 final.