New Zealand's Carrington wins two kayak sprint gold
Lisa Carrington of New Zealand won two gold medals with a pair of easy victories in kayak sprint races Wednesday, and Cuba won a surprise gold in the men's canoe double 1,000 at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Carrington came to Tokyo as a medal favorite in four events. She started by smashing the field in her specialty, the single 200 that she has dominated at the Olympics and world championships since 2012.
About an hour later, she paired with Caitlin Regal for another victory in the double 500. Carrington is also scheduled to race the 500 single and fours later this week.
Carrington's third consecutive Olympic gold in the 200 began with a bolt out of the start. She had a lead of half a boat length barely 50 meters into the race and cruised from there to beat Teresa Portela of Spain by 0.76 seconds. Portela's silver medal at the age of 39 was her first medal in six Olympics.
Carrington and Regal were just as dominant in the final race of the day, beating the silver-medal boat of Poland by nearly a full second.
Cuba's win in the men's canoe double 1,000 was the upset of the day. Germany had won the event at five of the last seven Olympics and Sebastian Brendel had been in the German boat for gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
But the race developed into a battle between Cuba and China over the final 500 meters. Cuban teammates Serguey Torres Madrigal and Fernando Dayan Jorge Enriquez edged across the line to win by 0.2 seconds.
The Cuban duo had won silver at the world championships in 2019 but the country hadn't earned a medal in this event at the Olympics since 2000. Germany won bronze to earn a medal in the event for the eighth consecutive Olympics.
Hungary finished 1-2 in the men's kayak 1,000 as Balint Kopasz dominated the final 250 meters to pull away for the gold medal and Adam Varga finished second.
Kopasz came in as the reigning world champion and was locked in a tough battle with Fernando Pimenta of Portugal over the first 750 meters before his final push to the win. Varga edged Pimenta by 0.047 seconds at the finish for the silver medal.