IRISH CANOE UNION
Sport HQ, Joyce Way,
Parkwest, Dublin 12
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30th ICF World Canoe-Slalom Championships 19th-23rd September, 2007.
Itapia Canal, Foz do Iguassu, Brazil.
September 20th , 2007.
RHEINISCH QUALIFIES FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS K1 SEMI- FINAL
Athens Olympian, Eoin Rheinisch, of Salmon Leap Canoe Club, safely qualified for the semi-final of the K1 Kayak at the World Canoe Slalom Championships in
Brazil yesterday (September 19th).
Eoin Rheinisch placed 35th from 89 starters, representing a safe if unspectacular opening to his World Championship. It allows him progress to the semi-final of the top 40 paddlers on Saturday. The results from Wednesday’s qualifying do not carry over into Saturday. From the semis 10 paddlers qualify for the final, also scheduled for Saturday.
Eoin is seeking a high finish at the event but his main aim is to earn Ireland an Olympic berth for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. There will be 21 contestants in Beijing, with the top 14 nations at these championships securing a spot. 2 more spots are available to European competitors in 2008. There are 19 nations represented among the 40 semi-finalists so Saturday promises to be a tense affair for the Ireland’s top canoeist.
The Men’s Kayak qualification race had two other Irish athletes competing, Neil Caffrey and Ciaran Heatrau, in the field of 92 boats. Heatrau finished 46th and Caffrey finished 61st.
In the Women’s kayak event, top ranked Irish paddler, Helen Barnes had set her sights on qualification for the semi-final but she missed a gate and finished in 54th place. Similarly, Hannah Craig had problems negotiating the course finishing just outside the top 40 in 43rd position. The Irish team will be supported by coaches Han Bijnen and Jimmy Jayes.
Eoin, 27, hails from Leixlip, Co.Kildare. He trains full-time and his recent form, a World ranking of 12, suggests that he will secure an Olympic spot. His best result was in 2004, when Eoin won a World cup event at La Seu D’Urgell, Spain, establishing his credentials as a top performer. He underlined this potential with a sixth place in June, 2007, at the European Championships, held in Slovakia.
If Eoin Rheinisch qualifies for Beijing, this will mean that Ireland will have qualified for the slalom event at all possible Olympiad (Slalom was only introduced in 1972). In the past, Ian Wiley who finished fifth in Atlanta, 1996, was among the seven others Olympians in this technical discipline.
Canoe slalom is an Olympic sport since Munich, but has held World Championships since 1949. Athletes negotiate the numbered obstacles (called “gates”) against the clock and their times from two runs are aggregated. Men compete in kayak singles (K1), Canadian Singles (C1) and Canadian pairs (C2). Women only compete in the kayak category (W K1).
Further information from
Tadgh McIntyre Irish Canoe Union 087-8393630
Paul McDermott Irish Sports Council 087-6486295
Tournament website www.foz2007.org.br
Eurosport are scheduled to offer coverage of the event.
Contact: Tadhg MacIntyre 087-8393630 firstname.lastname@example.org