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Jenny Egan and Ronan Foley will begin their campaign to qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics at the opening World Cup Canoe competition in Poznan, Poland starting on Thursday, May 23.

In June last year, Egan, from the Salmon Leap club in Leixlip, Co Kildare, won the 5000m at the World Cup round in Portugal. In a brilliant season, she went on to take bronze at the World Championships in Portugal two months later, making her the first Irish paddler ever to take a medal at this level.

With sights set on Olympic qualification, Egan will compete in the Olympic distances of 200m and 500m as well as the 5000m this season.

Her first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020 will come at the World Championships in Szeged, Hungary from August 21-24 and having missed out on both London 2012 and Rio 2016 by a single place, Egan hopes it will be third time lucky.

“The top five at the World Championships this year will go to the Olympics. Then next year, there's another chance to qualify at the European continental qualifiers. Although it's one of the hardest sports to qualify in for the Olympics, I just have to give it my best shot and, hopefully, I'll make it,” she says.

After winning the junior race at the European Marathon Canoeing Championships in Metkovic, Croatia last season as well as World Cup gold, Ronan Foley, who is from Kilcullen, moves into the senior ranks this season, although he will also continue to compete at U23 level. He will take on the men’s Olympic distance of 1000m as well as the 500m and 5000m this season.

Paracanoeist Pat O’Leary, who is from Cork but based in Moycullen, Co Galway, will compete over 200m at the ECA European Championships in Poznan taking place just before the World Cup on May 21/22. O’Leary competed at the Rio Paralympics - the first Irish padder ever to qualify.

Also selected for the sprint team are Barry Watkins of Salmon Leap Canoe Club (1000m, 5000m); Ryan O’Connor, also Salmon Leap (U23 and senior 200m), and Matthew McCartney of Celbridge Paddlers (junior 500m, 1000m).

After Poznan, the team travels to Germany for the World Cup 2 event in Duisberg from May 30.

Canoeing Key Dates

May 21-22 – European Paracanoe Championships, Poznan, Poland

May 23-26 - World Cup 1, Poznan, Poland

May 30- June 2 – World Cup 2, Duisberg, Germany

August 1-4 – World Junior and U23 Sprint Championships, Pitesti, Romania

August 21-25 – World Championships, Szeged, Hungary

Published in Canoeing
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#Canoeing: Jenny Egan qualified for the A Final of the women’s K1 200 metres at the canoe sprint World Cup in Montemor-O-Velho in Portugal today. The Ireland paddler finished third in her semi-final to take the ninth and final place. On Friday, Egan just missed out on qualifying for the final of the K1 500, taking fourth in the semi-final. She will also compete in the K1 5,000 on Sunday.  

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Montemor-O-Velho, Portugal (Irish interest)

Women

K1 500 – Heat One: 5 Ireland (J Egan) 1:56.116. Semi-Final (Three to A Final): 4 Egan 1:55.512.

K1 200 – Heat One: 6 Ireland (J Egan) 45.536. Semi-Final (Three to A Final): 3 Egan 42.103.

Published in Canoeing

#MCIB - Basic water safety precautions were not taken before a canoe capsize incident that led to the drowning of a man off Kenmare almost a year ago.

That’s the main conclusion of the official report into the tragedy in Kenmare Bay in which local man Bill Topham died, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Topham had been canoeing to islands in Kenmare Bay with a friend for a duck shoot when their two-man vessel overturned in high winds on the afternoon of 31 January 2016.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board report identified that neither passenger on the canoe was wearing a personal flotation device.

It also concluded that their decision to undertake their trip amid adverse weather conditions with a fully laden canoe, including two boisterous dogs, greatly increased the “inevitable element of natural risk” involved.

The full MCIB report into the incident is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

#Tokyo2020 - Irish Olympic rowing and canoeing hopefuls look set to stay in Japan’s capital for the 2020 Games as plans to move their venue to a city 400km north are likely to be abandoned.

As Inside the Games reports, Tokyo 2020 organisers are expected to downscale their costly original plans for the Sea Forest in Tokyo Bay instead of moving to the city of Tome in Miyagi Prefecture.

Rowing and canoe sprint were among a number of sports that faced the prospect of their venues being relocated Tokyo to surrounding cities as city officials look to trim rising costs even three-and-a-half years out from the Games.

Inside the Games has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Blueway10k - Places are still open for experienced kayakers to sign up for this weekend's Blueway 10k Challenge, as the Nenagh Guardian reports.

Organised by Canoeing Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland with Waterways Ireland, the nine events taking place simultaneously across the island this Saturday 20 August will see novice paddlers put their skills developed over the last 12 weeks of training to the test.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the initiative aims to take the hassle out of kayaking or canoeing on Ireland's inland waterways, showing that access to watersports is quicker and easier than many people think.

Three-time Irish Olympian Eoin Rheinisch gives an overview of the final week of training ahead of this weekend's challenge:

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Under-23 competitor Sam Curtis came frustratingly close to direct qualification on his first run at the canoe slalom World Championships in Krakow, Poland, this morning. The Irish paddler, competing in a K1, completed the course in 84.08 seconds, but he touched the second last gate and was given a two-second penalty. It pushed him above the direct qualification mark.  Eoin Teague set a time of of 89.71, including four seconds in penalties for touches on gates two and 14. However, he dropped out of contention in this run when he was retrospectively ajudged to have missed gate two and given a 50-second penalty. Noel Hendrick was also down the rankings. He was penalised 50 seconds for missing gate 13.

Canoe Slalom World Championships, Under-23 and Junior, Krakow, Poland (Irish interest; selected results)

Men

Under-23 K1 (racing kayak) – First Run (Top 30 Qualify): 35 S Curtis 86.08; 69 E Teague 137.71; 70 N Hendrick 138.45.

Published in Canoeing

#Blueway10k - Blueway 10k aims to take all the hassle out of paddling activity whether kayaking or canoeing, allowing people quick and easy access to the water. It's a fantastic way to get fit, meet new people and learn great skills.

Earlier this month saw the launch of the Blueway 10k programme with all partners offering taster sessions on inland waterways around Ireland and Northern Ireland as part of the Blueway 10k National Open Day - some accommodating close to 100 participants for each session.



The Blueway 10k programme is based on a 12-week training programme from 30 May to 20 August with three hours of activity a week. Each canoe club or activity provider will provide you with the gear needed to take part.

For more on the event and registration visit the Blueways Ireland website HERE and get a step closer to #PaddlingYourWay to the #Blueway10K​.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Jenny Egan qualified for the A Final of her top event, the K1 500 metres, at the canoe sprint European Olympic Qualifier in Duisburg in Germany today. She finished third in her semi-final. A top-two place in the final would qualify her for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Canoe Sprint European Olympic Qualifier, Duisburg, Germany (Selected Results, Irish interest)

Men

K1 1,000 – Heat One (Winner to A Final; 2-7 to semi-final; rest out): 4 M Fitzsimon 3:31.693.

K2 200 – Heat One (First Three to A Final; 4-7 to semi-final): 6 T Brennan, B Watkins 34.350.

Women

K1 500 – Heat One (Three to Final; 4-7 to Semi-Final): 5 J Egan 1:55.428. Semi-Final (Three to A Final): 3 Egan 1:52.823.

Paracanoe World Championships, Duisburg

Men - KL3 200- Heat Four (First Seven to Semi-Final): 2 P O’Leary 42.061. Semi-Final One (First Two and next best time to A Final; 3rd, 4th to B Final): 3 O’Leary 41.722.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing - Richmond Harbour on the Royal Canal in Clondra, Co Longford will be the site of the Canoeing Ireland Club Championships over the weekend of 16-17 April.

As the Longford Leader reports, the event coincides with the second annual Longford Blueway Festival taking place in the town and surrounds.

Up to 500 competitors and their supporters are expected in Clondra for the national canoeing contest which joins a number of events scheduled for the weekend, including cycles and walks of the 10km Camlin Loop of the Shannon Blueway that was launched last year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

There will also be public 'taster sessions' on the water for those curious about canoeing whether for sport or recreation. Details are available on the Canoeing Ireland website.

The Longford Leader has more on the story HERE.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: The top Irish competitors in canoe slalom will be in action at the Irish Championships at the Sluice Weir in Lucan this Saturday and Sunday, March 5th and 6th.  The races at the redeveloped Sluice Weir in the Lucan Demesne/St Catherine’s Park, will double as selection races for the Ireland senior and junior international teams for:

  • The Senior European Championships in Liptovsky Mikulas, (Slovakia) in May.
  • The five-event World Cup series in Ivrea (Italy), La Seu d’Urgell (Spain) and Pau (France) in June and in Prague (Czech Republic) and Tacen (Slovenia) in August.
  • Junior and Under 23 World Championships in Krakow (Poland) in July and European Championships in Solkan (Slovenia) at the end of August.

 The Senior European Championships in Liptovsky Mikulas will also count as the final qualification event for places at the Olympic Games.   Only one  place is available in each class to European countries who have not yet qualified.

 Racing on both days will feature London 2012 K1 finalist Hannah Craig, who is entering her second season back to competition following the birth of her son Arlo in May 2014. Hannah has spent the winter at the artificial whitewater course in Nottingham, England in preparation for the 2016 season.  

 Competing in the C1 category will be Liam Jegou who took 6th place in the Under 23 European Championships in Krakow last year and got semi-final placings in two of his three World Cup races and in the World Championships in his first season of senior races. He has just completed a winter-training bloc on the artificial whitewater course in Al Ain, Dubai.

 Robert Hendrick will double-up with his brother Noel in the Under 23 C2 class over the weekend, having taken 4th place in the Junior World Championships in Brazil last year.

 In the K1M class, Ciarán Heurteau is coming back to Ireland from a two-month intensive winter training bloc in New Zealand to compete for a place at the European Champs and Olympic qualifier after being out of competition last season due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury which required surgery and rehabilitation.

 To provide a good benchmark to assess selection performance levels, Canoe Slalom Ireland are bringing in Mike Kurt (30th in men’s kayak world rankings and semi-finalist in the 2015 World Championships) from Switzerland. The Welsh junior and under-23 team will also take part.

Published in Canoeing
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