Lisa Carrington: 'Just going out there, doing my best'

By Te Ao - Māori News

New Zealand's most decorated Olympian had a very typical reaction to winning her fifth Olympic gold medal.

The 32-year-old, Ohope-raised canoeist became Aotearoa's most successful Olympian of all time on Thursday winning the K1 500m sprint for the first time. 

The Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngāti Porou uri told Sky Sports shortly after her record-breaking feat, "people are saying you could do this, or that, but for me, it's just making sure that I just did what I could do. Not focusing too much on you know, the what ifs. Just going out there and doing my best."

Doing "her best", has seen Carrington win three gold medals this week alone in Tokyo, securing the K1 200m for the third successive games, as well as the K2 200m with close friend and training partner Caitlin Regal as well as the 500m. 

"It's amazing, you set out for such a big task. To be able to do it is such a different thing. I'm so proud, I'm just amazed at what has happened this week, so far. 

"There are so many people that support me. I'm just so fortunate to have an incredible support team."

The 200m is her favoured event but she says the strategy for the 500m was simply "emptying the tank."

"It's a completely different race into the headwind, it's just a bit longer. But the strategy has to stay the same for me. It hurt a lo, but it means I gave it everything. I'm really happy."

Unbelievably, Carrington's successfully busy week is not yet over. She will join Regal, as well as Alicia Hoskin and Tenealle Hatton, in the heats of the K4 boat on the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo, as the New Zealand team looks to add another medal to its haul.