Egan is back on the Olympic Games trail

By Stephen Leonard

JENNY Egan will, today, ignite another hugely important season in top international canoeing when she lines out in World Cup competition in Poznan, Poland.

It is the first step in the Lucan kayaker’s competitive build-up towards her first attempt at Olympic Games qualification at the World Championships in Szeged, Hungary from August 21-24.

Jenny Egan World Cship Bronze

Lucan kayaker Jenny Egan will contest World Cup 1 in Poland this week.

Indeed the trip to Poland is the start of a busy period for Egan, that will see her back in action a week later at World Cup Two in Duisberg, Germany from May 30-June 2.

One of the top competitors over K1 5000m, Egan will also be contesting the Olympic distances of K1 200m and 500m as part of her efforts to eventually make the cut for Tokyo 2020.

She has been building steadily towards this attempt, telling The Echo “Winter training went really well. I had a seven-week block in Florida, training with the Danish canoeing team. They’re great training partners.

“Since I’ve been home, especially over the past two weeks, I’ve felt that bit sharper so hopefully the competition season goes well and all the hard work pays off.”

Looking ahead to her trip to Poland, she stressed “World Cups are so important. The standard is very high because you can have two people from each nation competing over a distance.

“But training has been good, I’m feeling good so I just want to feel good on the day, give it my best and know that when I cross that finish line I’ve given it everything” she added.

Also on her programme this year will be the European Games, taking place in Minsk from June 25-27.

There she will be hoping to avaoid the heartbreak of barely missing out on a medal just as she did in Baku back in 2015 when she finished fourth in the K1 5000m, just 0.04 of a second off bronze.

Egan will be part of a five-strong Ireland team heading to Poznan, that includes fellow Lucan athlete Ryan O’Connor who will be travelling with the senior international squad for the first time.

Lining out in the K1 200m, O’Connor has produced some impressive results as a junior, finishing 14th in the World Junior Sprint Championship in Romania in 2017 after having taken 12th in the European K1 200m in Bulgaria the year before.

Also included on the panel will be para kayaker Patrick O’Leary along with Barry Watkins and Ronan Foley, both of whom will be competing in the K1 500m, 1000m and 5000m.

The squad will be competing under newly-appointed National Sprint Head Coach Jon Simmons and will be managed by Tom Egan.

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