The men’s K4 500m team in action at World Cup 1 in Poznan, Poland.
Following New Zealand’s bumper four gold medal haul last week at the opening ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup of the season in Poznan - a developmental squad of younger paddlers will fly the Kiwi flag in the second ICF World Cup of the season in Duisburg, Germany (May 31-June 2).
With triple World Cup gold medallist Lisa Carrington and her fellow triumphant K4 500m crew-mates in Poland (Kayla Imrie, Caitlin Ryan and Aimee Fisher) returning home, alongside gold medal-winning Para canoeist Scott Martlew, it will be the turn of the younger brigade to take centre stage for New Zealand in western Germany.
Leading the Kiwi challenge will be the K2 1000m combination Max Brown (Whanganui) and Kurtis Imrie (Mana), who last weekend in Poznan made a major breakthrough on the global stage by placing 8th in the A Final.
In what was a major boost for men’s elite kayaking, the pair will once again seek a strong showing in their speciality event in what will be only their second senior international regatta together.
Joining the men’s team in Duisburg will be Quaid Thompson (Poverty Bay), son of former double Olympic champion, Alan, who is entered in the men’s K1 1000m and K1 5000m event. Thompson last year impressed at the World U23 Championships, finishing fourth in the K1 1000m and he will be hoping to build on that performance in Duisburg.
Also competing for New Zealand in the men’s K4 500m are Ashton Reiser (North Shore), Hamish Legarth (Hawkes Bay), Zach Ferkins (Poverty Bay) and Ben Duffy (Arawa). Last week in Poznan the quartet placed eighth in the B Final of the K4 500m.
Four emerging women’s paddlers – Alicia Hoskin (Poverty Bay), Briar McLeely (North Shore), Danielle Watson (Mana) and Britney Ford (Poverty Bay) will look to gain more crucial experience at the top level having all competed in Poznan.
Last week the foursome missed out on a spot in the K4 500m B Final by one place and they are once again entered in the event. All four paddlers will also feature in the K2 500m with McLeely and Watson teaming up in one boat with the all Poverty Bay duo of Hoskin and Ford in the other.
Canoe Racing NZ CEO Tom Ashley said: “We are proud of our team’s performance at the first World Cup in Poland. The competition delivered what we had hoped – our senior athletes performed with distinction and our younger paddlers made the most of the development opportunity.
“Several athletes showed that they have made outstanding improvements, which is exciting and bodes well for the future. In addition, our coaches and support team did a fantastic job – they are a key part of our athletes’ performances and we lucky to have such great people representing CRNZ to the athletes.
“Duisburg will be another great opportunity for our athletes to perform, and to prepare for their pinnacle events later in the season.”
The action will start on Friday at 7pm (NZ time) and can be followed on www.canoeicf.com
Below is a list of when the Kiwis will be in action on day one of the event. All times NZ
Men’s K1 1000m heats – 8.35pm and semi-finals 1.30pm
Women’s K2 500m heats – 11.08pm and semi-finals 1.12am
Alicia Hoskin/Britney Ford & Briar McLeely/Danielle Watson
Men’s K2 1000m heats - 4.17am
Kurtis Imrie and Max Brown