Ex student Kayla Imrie qualifies for Olympics

Kayla Imrie was part of K4 Kayaking team that qualified for the Rio Olympics over the weekend. This is what Canoe Racing New Zealand had to say on their website

The New Zealand women’s K4 kayaking team have added a large dollop of icing to Lisa Carrington’s cake after a dream day at the canoe racing world championships in Milan.

A few short hours after Carrington collected her first K1 500m world title and qualified fastest for tonight’s K1 200m final, the K4 also booked a spot in the A final and in doing so, qualified a boat for next year’s Olympics.

Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie finished third in their semifinal after leading for much of the race but that was enough to confirm a top-10 ranking.

“I guess there’s a pretty high likelihood we’ll go to Rio now, which is a bit of a dream come true,” a jubilant Fisher said. “It’s been a pretty long year and there’s been a lot of suffering together. It’s been a year of hurting but it’s all really paying off now.”

Great Britain and Germany overhauled the Kiwis in the last 50m, clocking 1min 33.635secs and 1:33.706 respectively, but the New Zealand crew were only 0.308secs behind.

Having only been together for around nine months, Fisher also paid tribute to new national women’s coach Rene Olsen, who helped them win the world cup round in Portugal and has vastly improved their strength and fitness.

In the final the girls finished 9th but they had done what they set out to achieve.