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Canoeist Madison Corcoran has qualified for an Olympic quota spot in the K1 Women's event after a countback on quota places at the 2023 European Games in Krakow, Poland.

It means Ireland will have three boats competing in the Canoe Slalom event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the biggest Olympic Irish canoe team since Atlanta 1996.

Corcoran's result is the first Women's spot in Canoe Slalom since London 2012, when Hannah Craig competed for Ireland.

Madison's great placing of 23rd in the European Games allowed Ireland to secure the European continental quota spot, with most other European nations securing their quota spots at the 2023 World Championships, and the rest being behind Ireland in the standings.

The result is also somewhat of a family affair, with Madison's father, Mike Corcoran, having been a member of the 1996 Olympic Team for Canoe Slalom.

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The International Canoe Federation Women’s Symposium, on its second day, hosted fruitful discussions on how individuals can make a positive impact on the global environment for women in paddlesports.

The speakers called for a shift in the attitude towards women in coaching across all levels and suggested practical measures to achieve equity in the sport.

This philosophy was embedded in the first speaker, with former ICF President José Perurena López, leaving the room with the message ‘You can too’, in reference to the example he has seen set by many of his female colleagues, including the current Vice-president of the ICF Cecilia Farias.

"We need equity, not equality, and this means the system needs to change"

Today’s panel on the positive impact of female coaches, featuring Nathalie Siegrist, Lorraine Lafreniere, and Kim Crane, challenged the attitude of women in coaching at all levels.

Lochlann Walsh, OFI Gender Equality Commission Chair, delivered some clear and practical actions which we can take at all levels and walks of life to create equity in sport.

‘We need equity, not equality, and this means the system needs to change'.

The symposium concluded by focusing on personal growth and inspiring change in communities and countries.

The event was hailed as a commendable milestone towards a brighter future for paddlesports, and the Irish Canoe Union has expressed its appreciation to the International Canoe Federation for their commitment to empowering women in this field.

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The first day of Canoeing Ireland's International Women's Symposium at Malahide on Tuesday, brought together 118 attendees representing 35 countries to discuss women in paddlesports.

The symposium featured various speakers and workshops throughout the day, with keynote speaker Zelda La Grange, former private secretary to Nelson Mandela, delivering an inspiring speech on driving change.

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach addresses the audience during an ICF Women in Sport Symposium at the Grand Hotel Malahide in Dublin. Photo by Matt Browne/SportsfilePresident of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach addresses the audience during an ICF Women in Sport Symposium at the Grand Hotel Malahide in Dublin. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

A panel discussion with Dr. Cecilia Farias, Maree Brunett, and Nora Stapleton provided attendees with practical steps to create an environment where women can confidently pursue leadership positions.

IOC President Thomas Bach's message of "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together" resonated throughout the day, emphasising the role of the community in supporting women.

The symposium was attended by Thomas Byrne TD, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, who also spoke at the event.

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Irish Olympic canoeist Robert Hendrick has accomplished an impressive feat by qualifying his country for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Canoe Slalom, a moment of immense pride for the Irish paddlesports community.

He demonstrated skill and composure in the semi-final round of the World Championships, securing 16th place and booking a spot for Ireland on the C1 Men start line for next year's Games.

During the semi-finals, Liam Jegou, a Tokyo Olympian, participated in the canoe slalom race. Despite commendable skill, he fell to the narrow margins in canoe slalom and lost valuable time towards the end, finishing 30th.

In the meantime, the Irish K1 Men are still in the running for Olympic qualification, with Noel Hendrick set to participate in Saturday's semi-final. If he finishes in the top 15, it will secure a quota spot for the Paris Games, keeping Ireland's hopes alive for the event.

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Canoeing Ireland (CI) will host the 2023 ICF Women's Symposium at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Dublin, in a fortnight.

The two-day event, held in partnership with the International Canoe Federation, will attract representatives from 35 countries and will feature a wide range of inspiring speakers, workshops, and fruitful discussions focused on creating a more equitable future for the sport.

Notable figures such as Thomas Konietsko, President of the International Canoe Federation, and some of the leading women in Paddlesports and the sporting industry in Ireland will be present. The symposium is an opportunity to commend the work done by the Irish Paddlesports community in empowering women in the sport.

CI aims to raise awareness of both the symposium and the need to overcome the barriers hindering women's advancement to leadership positions in the sport.

According to CI, the symposium is an ideal platform to address the various challenges hindering women in the sport and create a better and more equitable future for all.

The Women in Sport Symposium runs from 26th - 27th September.

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Team Ireland will have strong representation in the Canoeing events at the European Games in Krakow, with eight Canoe Slalom athletes and one Canoe Sprint athlete named by the Olympic Federation of Ireland today. Jenny Egan is the sole competitor to race in the Canoe Sprint, which runs from 22 – 24 June, while six male and two female athletes will contest the Canoe Slalom event from 29 June – 2 July. The events double up as European Championships for the Canoeists, with both titles and Olympic qualifying spots available.

Egan is going into the European Games as ranked world number one in the 5000m event, an event that is not on the programme in Krakow. The Lucan racer will be competing in the K1 200m and K1 500m events, both of which are on the Olympic programme, and offer opportunities for nations to qualify for quota spots. The Canoe Sprint takes place in Kryspinow Waterway in Krakow, not far from the Canoe Slalom course.

Tokyo Olympian Liam Jegou will compete in the C1 Canoe Slalom event, alongside Robert Hendrick and Jake Cochrane. The event involves an athlete kneeling in a closed cockpit while propelling the boat with a single-bladed paddle through narrow slalom gates on a big white water. The Team Ireland Canoe Slalom athletes regularly compete and train at the Kolna Sports Centre in Krakow, where the competition will take place.

OFI Paris Scholarship recipient, Noel Hendrick, brother of Robert, competes in the K1 event, along with Alistair McCreery and Samuel Curtis. This kayaking event involves the athlete sitting on the boat with a double-bladed paddle.

Team Ireland will be represented by two female athletes in Canoe Slalom, Michaela Corcoran in the C1 event, and Madison Corcoran in the K1 event. The two sisters are the daughters of Team Ireland Olympian Mike Corcoran, who competed in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996 and has been a great supporter of the Irish canoeing team.


  • Jenny Egan (Lucan, Dublin) Women’s K1 200/500
  • Noel Hendrick (Donadea, Co. Kildare) Men’s K1 Canoe Slalom
  • Alistair McCreery (Belfast) Men’s K1 Canoe Slalom
  • Samuel Curtis (Dunboyne, Co. Meath) Men’s K1 Canoe Slalom
  • Liam Jegou (Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare) Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom
  • Jake Cochrane (Belfast) Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom
  • Robert Hendrick (Donadea, Co. Kildare) Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom
  • Madison Corcoran (Dublin/Washington, USA) Women’s K1 Canoe Slalom
  • Michaela Corcoran (Dublin/Washington, USA) Women’s C1 Canoe Slalom

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Krakow 2023, Gavin Noble said, “We have a strong team named for these Games, across all disciplines. For the slalom athletes, this is also the European Championships, so this adds an extra layer of excitement. The team represents a good mix of experienced athletes and up-and-coming talents, who we are looking forward to supporting. We are especially pleased to see the next generation of the Corcoran family coming through, with twin sisters Madison and Michaela being the daughters of Mike Corcoran who blazed a trail for Irish canoeists as the first canoe slalom Olympian for Team Ireland."

High-Performance Director with Canoeing Ireland, Jon Mackey, said: "We are excited to see what this extremely strong team of Canoe Slalom athletes are going to deliver on the European Games start line. With Olympic spots up for grabs this team of proven international performers have their sights set on this first step on the pathway to Paris 2024. Our eight athletes will be on-site in Kolna well in advance of the competition to get fully settled in and ready to perform."

Jenny Egan-Simmons

Hometown: Lucan, Co. Dublin.

Jenny comes into these Games as the current World No. 1 in the 5000m, a distance where she has been a proven medal winner, with a substantial tally of silverware over the years. This endurance talent will hopefully stand to Jenny competing in the 500m at the European Games to take the fight to the field in the last 250m.

Noel Hendrick

Hometown: Donadea, Co. Kildare.

Noel comes into 2023 off the back of a brilliant 2022. Having finished a career-best of 20th at last year's World Championships, Noel is coming into some serious form ahead of the 2023 season. Having narrowly missed qualification for Tokyo 2021, Noel will have his sights firmly set on Paris 2024.

Alistair McCreery

Hometown: Belfast, Co. Antrim.

Alistair is currently our only athlete competing in both Canoe Slalom and Kayak Cross. With Olympic spots up for grabs in the Kayak Cross itself, Alistair will have a busy season balancing the two events.

Samuel Curtis

Hometown: Dunboyne, Co Meath.

Samuel is another dual career athlete managing communications and marketing for Canoeing Ireland. Currently the most experienced athlete on the team, having made his senior debut in 2012.

Liam Jegou

Hometown: Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare.

Liam is Ireland’s 2021 Canoe Slalom Tokyo Olympian. Another of our athletes located in Pau, France, Liam is already a proven race winner, having taken home gold at the 2020 World Cup in Pau.

Jake Cochrane

Hometown: Belfast, Co. Antrim.

Jake lives and trains full-time in Pau, France, on one of the best courses in the world. Jake has been a keen golfer in his spare time and has been an incredibly consistent international performer for the Irish Team, making his first-ever World Cup Final last year in Prague.

Robert Hendrick

Hometown: Donadea, Co. Kildare. Just finished a Masters degree in physiotherapy, Robert has been a very successful dual-career athlete balancing his studies with a heavy training schedule. Having moved over to the 2023 World Championship venue in London this year, Robert is setting himself up for a brilliant result at the Worlds and a great season.

Michaela Corcoran

Hometown: Washington, USA.

Twin daughter of two-time Olympian Mike Corcoran (‘92 and’96) Michaela is one of the youngest athletes on the team, which has done nothing to diminish her ability, already having made several senior international semi-finals.

Madison Corcoran

Hometown: Washington, USA.

Madison is another of our dual career athletes currently in third level education. Madison is preparing to move over to London for a year of study, to be better able to train using the world class venue in Lee Valley.

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Canoeing's Liffey Descent takes place this Saturday, 6th May.

The flagship event will once again pit competitors against 35km of the river Liffey along with ten weirs and a portage around the Leixlip Dam.

The new date for the event in May has delivered on its aim – better water levels on the river for faster and more exciting racing. With top-level releases promised for Saturday morning, organisers say the event is sure to see more thrills and spills, with the potential for some new course records to be set.

Racing will begin at 12pm sharp from the K Club in Straffan with the fastest competitors expected at the finish at the Garda Boat Club around 2pm. Along with some tight drag races to the finish line the Boat club will have its usual carnival atmosphere for the event which will kick off the 2023 competitive season.

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Two-time Paralympian Patrick O’Leary has announced his retirement from Para Canoeing.

Patrick was, for his entire career, a fantastic ambassador for the sport, including representing Para Canoe and Ireland on the ICF Athletes Committee. Having had a series of top results across his career, including his 5th place, finish at the Tokyo Paralympics, 6th place in the Rio Games, and becoming European Champion in 2021, Patrick has made his mark on the sport.

Commenting on his retirement, Patrick spoke about the privilege it has been to pursue the highest honours in sport, and his aim to have his mark on the sport is as much about his reputation as a human being, as well as his results. ‘People won’t necessarily remember your achievements or results, they may even forget your name, but they will remember your reputation and the way you made them feel.’

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Irish canoeist Jenny Egan has had a dream finish to the 2021 ICF Senior World Championships, coming away with a Silver medal in the K1 Women 5000m.

A close-fought battle took place around the 23-minute course, with Jenny paddling a near-perfect race, just missing out to Emese Kohlami of Hungary in a sprint finish. The tightest of margins separate the medals, with the top 3 finishers being split by 1.96 seconds.

Earlier at the championships, Jenny had a disappointing finish in the 500m event, exiting the competition in the semi-final round. This did little but light a fire under the Irish paddler, who came back strong to win her second medal of the 2021 season. The first coming in the ICF World Cup Race in Barnaul, where Jenny took another silver medal in the same 5000m event.

Jenny Egan with her world silver medal

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After a strong performance this afternoon, Irish canoeist Roisin Cahill (U23W) has taken home the gold in Cherbourg en Cotentin.

Roisin is a well-experienced competitor within this class, having won a silver medal at the U23 Worlds for Ocean racing earlier this year. Provisional results indicating that Roisin finished the 21km championship race with a time of 1:39:12.76, comfortably taking the win with an impressive +2.57.13 over her closest competitor despite the unfavourably flat conditions across the course on race day.

Speaking to Roisin about the race, coming into today's event, she had mixed feelings. While she had confidence in her preparation and abilities to perform at a high level. The low wind levels and smaller waves could not be ignored as they could easily have played out as a disadvantage and dulled the effort of Co.Clare native, with a wealth of experience on big Atlantic swells and powerful downwind.

Cahill, accustomed to a more explosive style of race instinctively changed strategy, setting out a fast rhythm and maintaining pace throughout the course, pushing through to the finish.

Cahill attributes a portion of her success today to K1 cross-training which prepared her well for these difficult and competitive conditions.

Congratulations to European Champion Roisin and team on a well-deserved win today after a strong finish!

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