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History Maker: Maori World Champion Lisa Carrington Sprints to Momentous Olympic Gold in London

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She’s done it! Lisa Carrington, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki Maori, the reigning world champion has come and sailed away today with the inaugural women’s Olympic K1 200-meter title in London. This was the first time the mad dash that is the 200-meter kayak race had been staged at the Games. And the 23-year-old Kiwi made sure her name entered the record books.

Despite a slow start in rough conditions, Carrington pulled away at the 100-meter mark, something of a hallmark for her, and eventually finished nearly a half second ahead of Inna Osypenko-Radomska of Ukraine for the gold. Hungarian power paddler Natasa Douchev-Janics had been tipped by some as the favorite to win; she finished third.

“It's always tight finishes in the 200 so you can never give in too much, but I was really stoked to come through and win," a golden-glowing Carrington said.

Yesterday, Carrington eased to a second-place finish in her morning heat on day one of the competition, and then powered past Spaniard Teresa Portela Rivas over the last 100 meters of Semifinal One to clock a new Olympic record of 40.528 seconds.

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Carrington, also the reigning Maori Sportswoman of the Year, truly is the champion of the world.