PODIUM PLACES ON THE CARDS
AT MARATHON WORLDS
15th World Marathon Kayaking Championships,
River Raba, Gyor, Hungary.
September 8-9th, 2007.
A team of X athletes under team manager and former World Marathon medallist, Gary Mawer, will depart on Wednesday morning for the Budapest, in their medal hunt. Since, two-time Olympian Mawer took silver in the Senior event in 1996, Ireland has had Junior World Champions (Neil Fleming, 2001) and a fourth place last year in the Junior doubles class (Barry Watkins & Brian Keogh). This year both Neil and Barry are going for gold in the Senior and Junior events, respectively.
Barry approaches the event as the Junior European Champion in sprint racing (500m) from last weekend, and the confidence from that event augurs well for his medal hopes. Part of the 2012 squad, his sprint abilities may well see him follow his fathers footsteps and compete in the Olympics (Howard Watkins competed in 1972 & 1976 Games). With his partner Brian Keogh, also from Salmon Leap canoe club, in Leixlip, they look likely to improve on their fourth from last year. The 21k course which includes 4 portages looks to suit this crew, who race on Sunday morning.Former junor bronze medallist from 2005, Jenny Egan, will be again looking for sucess in the Senior Womens event. She has sucessfully combined sprint and marathon racing this year and is a 2012 hopeful.
Neil Fleming of Celbridge paddlers, who is a Beijing aspirant and former Junior World Champion, has been focusing on sprint with the Olympics in mind. The marathon event, 33k instead of 1k, will test his endurance but his form this year has been excellent. He was seventh in the Europeans in sprint doubles this year and is motivated to finish his season on a high.
The timing of this event coincides with the annual Liffey pilgrimage, the International Liffey Descent, but competitors at the flagship canoeing event in Ireland are likely to celebrate the victories from Hungary.
Neil Fleming (Celbridge Paddlers) 22 years old, Trinity Science Student.
Peter Egan (Salmon Leap) 27 years old, Garda.
WOMENS SENIOR K1
Jenny Egan (Salmon Leap) 19 years old, DCU Sports Science Student.
Barry Watkins (Salmon Leap) 18 years old, full-time athlete.
Brian Keogh (Salmon Leap) 18 years old, School boy.
Darragh Fleming (Celbridge Paddlers), 16 years old, School boy.
“Our marathon medallist have historically gone on to qualify for the Olympics.”
-Gary Mawer (Director of Marathon Racing)
“With athletes of Barry’s calibre coming through the future of Irish canoeing is very bright indeed. Marathon racing is an ideal pathway for developing young talented paddlers for the Olympic cauldron.”
- Eamon Devoy (President of the Canoe Union).
“Top 10 or better would make me happy.”
Event website: www.gyor2007.com
Athlete Profiles: www.canoe.ie
Tadhg MacIntyre email@example.com +353-87-8393630