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 available and Olympic qualifying spots in Canoe Slalom.
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. 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.
TEAM IRELAND CANOEING ATHLETES:
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.”
Speaking about the large Canoe Slalom team, 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.”
Canoe Sprint Team Manager Jon Simmons added,
“Jenny Egan-Simmons competing in two distances for the Canoe Sprint brings with her an incredible level of experience on the start line. Currently the World number 1 in the 5000m event we are looking forward to seeing this racing experience pay off in the 200m and 500m events where there are qualification spots up for grabs ahead of Paris 2024. With Jenny being a proven medal winner in Canoe Sprint we are looking forward to some exciting racing this June at the Kryspinow Waterway in Krakow.”
This is the latest team announcement for the European Games from Team Ireland, in the event that will see Irish athletes compete across seventeen sports. Already Team Ireland athletes have been named in Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Badminton, Triathlon and Fencing. More team announcements will follow over the coming weeks.