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Olympic gold medalist Dame Lisa Carrington (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Ngāti Porou) has fought back from her loss to world champion Aimee Fisher at the sprint nationals at Lake Karapiro on Saturday to win today's K1 500m race.
The result levels up the three-race duel to determine who will represent New Zealand at the world championships in Canada in August.
On Saturday, Carrington lost by 0.8s in a photo finish but today turned the tables to beat Fisher by just 0.11 seconds in a race-off that looks set to be decided by the finest of margins.
The two will race again on Thursday in the decider.
In an interview with Te Ao Toa, Carrington said it was great to a have such a contest.
"There's only one allocated spot at the world championships. I guess it's up for any New Zealander to have a go. It's great to be able to have a contest for it.
"Aimee's a great paddler. The race means so much to us individually. So it's great to have a really awesome race."