Kayaking: Lisa Carrington's quest for Tokyo triple gold just got complicated

Lisa Carrington's quest for triple gold at the Tokyo Olympics could be complicated by one of her own teammates.

Newshub's learned New Zealand could have two paddlers on the same podium at the Games, after the qualifying standards were increased to allow two athletes to compete from one nation.

That means it could be a case of 'double the medals or nothing', as the New Zealand team weigh up the risk and reward. 

"It definitely throws a spanner in the works," Carrington told Newshub.

"I think it would be fantastic to be able to have two New Zealanders on a podium - that would be amazing."

Carrington has dominated the sport for almost a decade. Her resume includes two Olympic golds and 15 world championship medals.

Now, New Zealand has the opportunity to dominate the podium as a nation.

Carrington already has plenty on her Olympic agenda - she's likely  to race three races, including her favoured K1 200m and 500m - as well as the team K4.

But it's an opportunity for the likes of Caitlin Ryan, who could line up against her.

"We trust our fitness," ryan told Newshub. "I think we'd be one of the fittest female squads in the world, so for us to be able to back up events is doable."

But while it could potentially mean more Olympic medals, that's not as simple as it seems.

A tight Tokyo schedule would have athletes racing day after day, with as little as 40 minutes between races.

"You don't actually realise how hard it is until you do it," Carrington said. "I'm sure it's going to be really difficult when we get to Tokyo."

Ultimately, it's a risk that powerhouse nations like Hungary might be more inclined to take up, with a large pool of talented paddlers to select from.

"It's all about strategy, and whether that's how they want to play their cards and take some risks," said Ryan.

"If that's how they're going to play it, then how we play our cards is how we play our cards."

And they're keeping their cards very close to their chest.

"We'll have to wait and see," said Carrington. "It's over a year away, so we'll have to see how it unfolds.

"I mean we have to get to that startline as well," she quipped.

Carrington and the K4 team are for now focused on making sure they qualify at August's world championships.