Frustrating Fourth for Egan in Women’s K1 5000
It was a familiar case of so close yet so far for Jenny Egan in the Women’s K1 5000m today, when she finished fourth with a time of 25.27.936. The afternoon session on day seven of the European Games featured Team Ireland athletes in canoeing, cycling, badminton and gymnastics. The track cycling Women’s Team Pursuit qualified for the first round with a time of 4.31.358, and gymnasts Adam Steele and Emma Slevin performed well in the All Around event. Badminton duo Chloe Magee and Sam Magee move to the quarter finals, while Nhat exited his competition.
Sixty three Irish athletes are competing across nine sports at the European Games in Minsk from the 21-30 June.
Chloe and Sam Magee are through to the quarter finals of the Mixed Doubles and will fight for a medal tomorrow against Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek of the Netherlands.
The Donegal duo recorded a comprehensive win against the Belarus pair of Aliaksei Konakh and Krestina Silich 21-9, 21-5 this morning, but had a nervous wait for the final group game between France and Russia to conclude before their place in the quarter final was confirmed.
Speaking once the pair had confirmed the quarter final Chloe commented ‘It was very very tough (to watch) we knew that we had obviously done everything that we could do, so we could just sit and watch, but it was hard to watch the Russian’s versus the French. We knew it was going to be close but happy to be through.’
On the Belarus game this morning Sam commented ‘We knew what we had to do, we had to win those sets comfortably, I didn’t realise how important the score was until we came off the court, but I think we had the best score against Belarus across all the pairs and that would have stood to us, it ended up we didn’t need the points but at a lot of times it looked like we would’.
Nhat Nguyen exited the Men’s Singles competition at the round of 16 today after a tough match against Great Britain’s Toby Penty. Penty was impressive taking the game in two sets 12-21 and 11-21. A disappointed Nguyen commented ‘I think he was definitely playing better than me today, I had some close games against him before, today I couldn’t bring my A game and he did.’
There was disappointment for Irish canoeist Jenny Egan on the course in Minsk this afternoon after she finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the K1 5000m final.
This afternoon’s race was Jenny’s third of the day, having competed in the K1 200 B and K1 500 B finals earlier this morning, dealing with extremely tricky conditions all day as the warm Minsk weather took a turn for the worse, with very high winds and heavy rain. This third race was Egan’s main event having finished in fourth place in the same race at the 2015 European Games in Baku and was hoping to go one better this time round.
It wasn’t to be though, as Egan finished out in a time of 25:27.936 to see her placed in fourth spot once more, behind gold medal winner and home crowd hero, Maryna Litvinchuk of Belarus, while Dora Bodonyi of Hungary and Mariana Petrusova of Slovakia took home the silver and bronze medals.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “To come fourth again, after coming fourth four years ago [in Baku] is tough. But I did my best out there.
“There was thunder and lightning and wind, but you know, everyone had those conditions, everyone had to race in them. For me it was probably better as there was less heat, but it was tough, there was a big head wind out there on the home straight. I gave it my all, fourth place is not bad, but it’s just tough when you miss out on the medals again.”
Ireland’s Ronan Foley had one race this afternoon, also competing in the K1 5000m final. A tough race for the Irish man saw him finish out in a time of 23:16.064 to claim 16th spot.
“It’s a bit of a heartbreaking end to a brilliant week of racing that was full of PBs,” Foley reflected afterwards. “I had a good start to today’s race, but it’s a field full of top guys and they’re all A performers out there – they are as good as it gets.”
Cycling – Track
The track cyclists kicked off their European Games campaign today with the Women’s Team Pursuit competing in the qualifying rounds, where they finished fifth with a time of 4.31.358. They will now move into the next round and have an opportunity to get into the medal ride offs.
Analysing the results Performance Director Brian Nugent was happy with how the team performed and believes they can go faster in the next round, “We had a brand new team pursuit out tonight, to be within two seconds of the national record it shows so much excitement for the future. Yes we could have gone maybe one or two seconds quicker if we hadn’t made tiny errors in the last kilometre, but we can iron them out tomorrow. There are two little changes that we can make to knock two seconds off, and we will all be gunning to qualify for the medal ride tomorrow.”
The Irish track cycling team has grown in strength and depth and he is encouraged knowing that there is a pool of athletes that can slot into the team pursuit and produce results. Tonight will see Lydia Boylan compete in the Women’s Points Race, an event in which she won silver at the World Championships earlier this year. Felix English will also be in action, competing in the Men’s Scratch Race. Both athletes will be coached track side by former World Champion Martyn Irvine, who won his world title in the Scratch Race in this velodrome in 2013.
Adam Steele and Emma Slevin were competing in the qualifying rounds of the All Around event, where they performed well, just outside their personal bests.
In the All Around event gymnasts compete across six events for men, and four for women, with scores awarded based on the difficulty and execution of the individual routines. At the end of the qualifying rounds the top eighteen gymnasts qualify for the finals, and they also have opportunities to qualify for the finals in the individual disciplines.
Both Steele and Slevin executed clean routines, and were pleased with how they performed. Speaking after his qualifying round Steele said, “I’m really happy, one mistake, but you never have a perfect combo. Went really well on the rings, it’s a routine that I’ve been doing for a couple of years now, so I’m happy with it.”
This is not the first multi-sport event for Slevin, she also competed in the Youth Olympics Games last October. “It was good. Not my best competition, but not my worst either, no major mistakes. I’m really happy with my performance because recently I’ve been struggling with a few injuries, but I managed to pull through and do it so I’m happy.”
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) June 27, 2019
Performance Director Sally Johnson was happy that both athletes executed their routines well, “I’m very pleased with them. They coped very well, paced themselves and they hit the targets we set for them so I’m happy with that. They kept themselves pretty contained throughout the competition. Emma contained herself very well, her bars were excellent, one of the best I’ve seen her do them. Adam did very well, he did an excellent job on the apparatus, couple of upgrades on the high bar which were excellent, exciting routine to watch and had us on the edge of the seat. I’m very pleased with both of them.”
Mixed Doubles Group Rounds: Aliaksei Konakg & Krestina Silich (BLR) Vs Chloe Magee & Sam Magee (IRL) W 9-21, 11-21
Men’s Singles Round of 16: Nhat Nguyen (IRL) Vs Toby Penty (GB) W 12-21, 11-21
Women’s K1 200 B Final: Jenny Egan 8th with
Women’s K1 500 B Final: Jenny Egan 8th with
Women’s K1 5000 A Final: Jenny Egan 4th with
Men’s K1 5000 A Final: Ronan Foley 15th with
Women’s Team Pursuit 4km: Shannon McCurley, Mia Griffin, Lydia Gurley and Orla Walsh IRL – 4.31.358.
Men’s All Around Qualifying Round: Adam Steele 78.097 (currently 9th, more to compete)
Floor 13.633, Horizontal Bar 12.866, Parallel Bars 12.333, Pommel Horse 13.133, Rings 12.366, Vault 13.766
Women’s All Around Qualifying Round: Emma Slevin 48.865 (currently 15th, more to compete)
Floor 11.733, Beam 11.733, Uneven Bars 12.266, Vault 13.133
DAY SEVEN SCHEDULE (IRISH TIME):
17:30 Cycling Track – Lydia Boylan, Women’s Points Race
18:15 Cycling Track – Felix English, Men’s Scratch Race