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Canoeist Liam Jegou Ends Tokyo Olympic Bid in 15th Overall After Two Semi Final Time Penalties

26th July 2021
Irish Olympic canoeist Liam Jegou made the semi-finals in Tokyo

There was a heart-breaking end to canoeist Liam Jegou’s quest for a Tokyo medal, finishing 15th in the Semi-final and not progressing to the Olympic Final.

A fantastic start to his racing was cut short with the tiny margins in Canoe Slalom, incurring two 50 second time penalties and dropping down the results list. 

It turned out to be an extremely difficult morning for Jegou. Having recovered from a stressful day in the heats, Liam was off to a great start in his semi-final race, posting the fastest times on the top 2 splits as he powered his way down the course in a very composed display of racing. As he neared the bottom of the course the tiny margins in Canoe Slalom became clear as he barely misjudged the next gate in the sequence, diving to get his head between the poles but incurring a 50-second penalty, throwing him off balance and too far from the next gate to complete it correctly, ultimately ending his Olympic Games.

Speaking about the race Liam said – "Maybe I had the final already in my sights, and you can't be doing that"

His form coming into these Games was clear, with a sixth place in the Final of the World Cup in Germany before flying to Tokyo. With the momentum from this, the plan was for not just a final but potentially a medal, making this result all the more difficult to take.

"I've been working really really hard for that final run and to get a chance to fight for an Olympic medal"

Jegou now turns his sights to the World Championships later this year in Slovakia.

Published in Canoeing
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