Sprint Kayaker Lisa Carrington is looking to make a golden debut at the Olympics later today after a storming performance in her K1 200m semi-final.
But the world champion will face a strong challenge from Hungarian paddler Natasa Douchev-Janics who is being tipped as favourite for the race.
Carrington (23), finished second in her morning heat on day one of the competition, and then powered past Spaniard Teresa Portela Rivas over the last 100m of Semifinal One to clock a new Olympic record of 40.528s.
"It's always tight finishes in the 200 so you can never give in too much, but I was really stoked to come through and win," she told Sky.
Carrington will start the final side by side with Douchev-Janics, in lanes four and five, after both women set the fastest times in their semi-finals.
The Hungarian was absent when Carrington won the world title in Hungary last year but stated her presence at the Olympics after she took out the third semifinal, factionally slower (40.570s) than Carrington's new record.
This is the first time the K1 200m has been contested at the Olympics, and Douchev-Janics, 30, warned her rivals she is aiming for a gold medal to go with the silver she won in the Kayak Double earlier in the week.
"I still have some spare for the final. I wouldn't say that this was not a full race, but now I'll go back to paddle and practice the few strokes that I have to," she said.
"If I win the race tomorrow, then I'll be satisfied."
If Carrington can win a medal tonight then it would mean the New Zealand Team would have been more successful than the 1988 team. Their 13 medals consisted of three golds, two silvers and eight bronzes while the 2012 team has four golds, three silvers and five bronzes.
The final at Eton-Dorney gets underway at 9.14pm tonight, New Zealand time.