#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.