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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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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.

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Liam Jegou got his C1 Canoe Slalom campaign underway at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre posting a time of 174.57 in his first run of the heats after picking up a missed gate penalty.

“A shaky start I’ll call it,” said Canoeing Ireland Performance Director, Jon Mackey, after the first run “We dropped an edge mid-course, but had a lovely opening, the start of the course was nice and tight, nice and technical.”

Jegou has a second run later today, with Mackey adding: “It’s good to get the nerves out of the way on the first run and get a feel for it. I think he’ll come back a lot stronger in the second run.”

The top 15 after both runs are completed will progress to the semi-finals.

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Ireland’s Roisín Cahill has taken silver in the Under-23 surf ski race at the ICF World Ocean Racing championships in Lanzarote.

The 22-year old from Clare, who used to be a high-performance swimmer, was ranked second at women's under-23 level behind Jade Wilson of South Africa after a race in lively and high seas.

Canoe ocean racing is contested in single and double surf skis, sea kayaks and single or six-person outriggers. Surf skis were initially similar to surfboards but modern, lighter versions can be made from composite layers of epoxy or polyester resin-bonded cloth such as fibreglass, Kevlar, carbon fibre or a mixture. They are usually five to six and a half metres long and only 40 to 50 centimetres wide.

Cahill says she loves the sport. “It’s the most fun - surfing waves at over 20 kilometres per hour! I also love the ocean and the wildlife, so it's a privilege to be able to train amongst it.”

Cahill, who is a biology and chemistry teacher, has been a lifeguard in Lahinch and has paddled near the Cliffs of Moher and the Skelligs. She has medals at European level in surf life-saving. She trains with Celbridge Paddlers in Kildare.

Ireland’s Tadhg de Barra also competed in Lanzarote, in the senior men’s class.

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In a move for casual paddlers Canoeing Ireland has launched a new website with a wealth of useful information for everyone from first time or occasional paddlers to enthusiasts who are trying a new craft or looking for new challenges.

With an emphasis on water safety, the site offers easy to follow guidelines on the basic requirements for safe paddling. Our recognised activity providers and watersport retailers are listed with contact details for ease of access.

The extraordinary growth in popularity of paddlesports from stand up paddleboards to sit on top kayaks along with the more traditional craft is a good news story.

The information on safety and basic equipment required for safe paddling on the new site will make sure that everyone returns home safely at the end of a fun-filled day.

Seven Canoeing on the Water Safety Essentials

  • Be Able to Swim
  • Always wear a Buoyancy aid
  • Never Paddle Alone
  • Have a method of calling for help
  • Let someone know where you are going
  • Check the weather and water conditions
  • Get some training or join a club

It is important to consider the essentials before you take to the water.

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Patrick O’Leary has become European Champion at the Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe European Championships in Poznan -Poland.

Racing in the VL3 Final, Patrick got off to a brilliant start, trading the lead with Adrian Mosquera of Spain, eventually taking the win in a photo finish, 0.1 seconds ahead of Mosquera.

The win comes after a great performance in the qualification round of the VL3, finishing in 3rdplace in his heat on Thursday to qualify directly through to today's final.

VL3 Final O'Leary tops the VL3 Final scoresheet 

Patrick will race tomorrow afternoon again in the final of the KL3 200m, and will hopefully back up this sensational performance with another medal-winning performance. This result will give Patrick great momentum as he closes in on racing in this summers Paralympic Games, where he will again compete in the VL3 and KL3.

Patrick O'Leary Patrick will race tomorrow afternoon again in the final of the KL3 200m

Elsewhere in the Canoe Sprint European Championships, Barry Watkins will compete in the B final of the K1 Men 500m and 1000m. With Jenny Egan contesting the K1Women 200m,500m and 5000m later in the weekend.

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