Canoeists target Olympic place

Irish canoeists hope to secure Olympic canoe slalom qualification at this weekend's European Championships in Germany.

Hannah Craig , Eoin Rheinisch and Ciaran Hearteau are among six Irish competitors aiming for a place in London.

They are in action in Germany this weekend hoping to claim the right to represent Ireland at London 2012.

Heurteau came out on top at the recent Ireland K1 canoe slalom trial and will join Eoin Rheinisch, who finished fourth in this discipline at the Beijing Olympics, and Patrick Hynes in the men’s team for the European Championships in Augsburg, which serves as the Olympic qualifier in the sport.

Hannah Craig, Helen Barnes and Aisling Conlon make up the women’s team.

There are two Olympic places for both men and women, and they will go to the top two boats from countries which have not already qualified.

The Irish Canoe Union's internal selection policy states that the athlete who qualifies the boat will go to London.

Heurteau was born in the suburbs of Paris but his mother is Irish and he first competed for Ireland in 2006. He missed out on qualifying a boat for London at last year’s World Championships by less than a second, but feels he has moved on since then. Rheinisch, who had a disappointing World Championships, is reported to be going well, and fully recovered from a shoulder injury which affected him last season. He is now working with a new coach, Chileo Schmidt.

Along with Craig and Heurteau he has put in a block of training in Australia and has been based in Augsburg in recent months.

Their main rivals for the Olympic spots will come from Slovakia, Russia, Croatia, Portugal and the Netherlands.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/canoeing/17988442

 

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