Both Liam Jegou (canoeing) and Annalise Murphy (sailing) had a second race this afternoon in Tokyo, with Jegou putting in a superb second run display to qualify for the Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom semi-finals. A solid race from Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial also saw her finish in 12th place, while Team Ireland Dressage athlete, Heike Holstein, and her home-bred Sambuca, finished the Grand Prix Group D on a score of 68.432% for 6th place.
Liam Jegou put in a strong 2nd run effort to safely negotiate the heats of the Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom this afternoon, and secure a spot in the semi-finals. Jegou finished in 11th position with a total of 104.40, placing him within the top 15 qualifying spots.
Speaking afterwards, a determined Jegou said: “I’m confident I’m in shape, I feel great technically. I just need to free myself a bit more. Tomorrow is a new day and semi-finals are a different ball game to heats. You have to attack a lot more and I feel less nervous in those situations, and I can really let go and try to put down the best run I can do.”
He added: “It’s the Olympics but it feels like a different kind of Olympics. That extra year has been really long for everyone, and everyone is excited to compete here. I’m glad I can say I’m an Olympian now – it’s official and I’m looking forward to more tomorrow.”
Jegou returns to the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre tomorrow (Day 3 – July 26th) for the semi-finals, with the top 10 advancing to the final later in the day.
Ireland’s sole Dressage athlete, Heike Holstein and her home-bred Sambuca, finish the Grand Prix Group D on a score of 68.432% for 6th place. Now a four-time Olympian, Holstein partnered her home-bred 12-year-old mare by Samarant (HANN) through her Olympic debut in a beautiful fashion. Sambuca gave it her all and produced a striking display under the setting sun and in humid conditions, which have proved to be difficult factors for all horse and rider combinations.
Speaking after their performance, Heike stated: “I was really happy with her, she went into the ring and really concentrated. We had a few little errors that were my fault, in the first medium trot I had her back a bit too much. I was really happy with the passage and the piaffe has improved a lot, she was really relaxed in the walk and the changes were good. I timed the warm-up just right, I practiced it yesterday at the same time and I had more time today so I did less with her before I went in. She wasn’t exhausted but wasn’t too fresh. I was happy with most of it.”
“I am really proud of her. When she was a little foal I never thought that we would get this far, it is a long road and lots of things can happen. In 2019 I finally thought, this might happen!”
The Irish equestrian athletes are wearing yellow ribbons in commemoration of the loss of a highly talented young Irish athlete, Tiggy Hancock, in June. Also decorating Heike’s lapel was a beautiful pin designed by Tiggy’s mother specifically for the event.
When asked about the ribbon and pin, Heike proudly mentioned while pointing at them: “Tiggy is at the Olympics in Tokyo and we are very proud to wear this for her.”
Despite a delay to Annalise Murphy’s second race this afternoon at Enoshima Island, with the light wind picking back up it eventually got underway, with Murphy improving on her opening race placing of 35th, to finish in 12th place in the second race of the Laser Radial.
The 10-race series is due to continue tomorrow, weather allowing and speaking after today’s two races, Murphy said: “I’m relieved to get the first day out of the way, disappointed it didn’t go as I wanted it to. I did exactly what I didn’t want to in the first race, had a bad race, went the wrong way, didn’t stick with my plan, got caught up in a bit of an incident with another boat. I dealt badly with that by freaking out and doing the wrong thing. I had a slightly better second race, I was gaining around the race course rather than trying to do damage control which was good. I’m glad the first day is done and I’m looking forward to moving up from here – no more mistakes.”
The top ten boats from the series go through to the medal race.
Elsewhere today, swimmers Danielle Hill and Mona McSharry will be hitting the pool shortly, while boxer Emmet Brennan will be in action just before lunchtime.
AFTERNOON RESULTS DAY TWO: JULY 25TH, 2021
Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom, Heats 2nd Run: 11th Liam Jegou, 104.40
Dressage Grand Prix – Group D: Heike Holstein & Sambuca, 68.432%, 6th place.
Laser Radial, Race 2: Annalise Murphy – 12th
DAY TWO SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ARE IRISH TIME): JULY 25TH, 2021
*Note the schedule may be subject to change*
11:07 Swimming – Danielle Hill – Women’s 100m Backstroke, Heat 3
11:45 Swimming – Mona McSharry – Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Heat 5
12:42 Boxing – Emmet Brennan – Men’s Light Heavyweight, Round of 32