Jenny Egan celebrates her bronze medal at the world marathon championships

JENNY Egan’s superb season got even better last week when she won the bronze medal at the International Canoe Federation Senior World Marathon Championships in Pietermaritzburg South Africa.
The Lucan kayaker, who is a member of Salmon Leap Canoe Club , Leixlip, made a great start to the 26.2km race having being drawing on the start line beside Lani Belcher of Great Britain, the eventual winner
A group of seven immediately broke away off the start line including Egan, Belcher and Renata Tsay of Hungary seven times world champion and this group stayed together for much of the race.
Egan was looking strong in the group as she made sure she was always well-positioned to cover any possible attempt of any of the leaders making a break.
Eventually, after five of the seven laps, the group was whittled down to three Belcher, Kiszli of Hungary and Egan.
At this point, Egan said: “I was now in a medal position and I just had to stay focused for the remaining two laps.”
Coming out of the last portage which was 1,000m from the finish line, Belcher and Kiszli made the break to fight it out for the gold and silver medals. Belcher out sprinted Kiszli to take win the gold medal with Kiszli taking silver.
Egan crossed the finish line in third position to take a coveted bronze medal.
Reflecting on the result, the Lucan woman said: “When I crossed the finish line, I was ecstatic with happiness, knowing that I had achieved another one of my goals, becoming a senior World Marathon medallist.
“It was extra special as my mum, dad, brother and boyfriend were there to share this very special moment.
“My family have been there through highs and lows of my racing career and this medal is theirs also,” added Egan on reaching the podium.
In so doing, she became Ireland’s first senior women’s World Championship Marathon medalist since Gary Mawer took silver in the men’s K1 event in Sweden in 1996.
“I was worried going into the race as my training had been geared towards sprinting for the competition season and I only had two weeks between the World Sprint Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, and the marathon worlds.
“However, I knew that I had a good endurance base and if felt good on the day, I had a chance of making the podium.
“In 2015, I was fourth in Gyor, Hungary so I have been previously very close.”
Egan has won gold and silver medals in the K1 5,000m events in Portugal and Serbia already this year.
She has also been invited by the International Canoe Federation to compete in a Marathon World Cup in China at the end of October.
Next up for Egan is the International Liffey Decent on Saturday, September 23.