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Liam Jegou makes history with World Cup gold medal

The canoeist today earned Ireland’s first-ever World Cup gold medal in the C1 class.

Liam Jegou with his gold medal.
Liam Jegou with his gold medal.

CANOEIST LIAM JEGOU TODAY won gold for Ireland at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Pau, France. 

Jegou’s gold came in the C1 category,  putting down a run of 100.35 seconds to finish 0.73 seconds ahead of the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Chaloupka. It capped a superb week for the Clare native, as he also put in the fastest qualification run on Friday.

It is a doubly historic achievement: it is Jegou’s first World Cup medal, and Ireland’s first ever gold in the C1 class. 

“I’ve been pushing myself really hard now for several years, and all summer, preparing for  events like this”, said Jegou. “So I’m absolutely thrilled to put down a big run like this in the seniors, it means a lot.”

Earlier this year Jegou became the first Irish athlete to be formally selected for the Tokyo Olympics, and his spot at the Games is assured in spite of their Covid-enforced postponement. 

Jegou is based in France but hails from Ballyvaughan in Clare, and has previously won silver at the 2014 Junior World Championship and bronze at the U23 World Championships last year.

He will also compete at the C1 class at the Tokyo Games, becoming only the second Irish athlete to do so, the only other being Mike Corcoran who last raced at the Atlanta Games in 1996. 

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The C1 class differs to the K1 class, in which Ireland have been represented in 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2012. Athletes in the C1 class use a single-bladed paddle while kneeling in the canoe, whereas K1 racers are seated while using a double-bladed paddle. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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