Salmon Leap’s Jenny Egan has made a superb start to the 2017 international sprint racing season with a series of medals on the World Cup circuit.
She took gold at the first event of the season Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal in May in the 5,000m final with a brilliant late sprint.
She also made her first World Cup final in the K1 200 metres in which she finished ninth, and narrowly missed the final of the K1 500 meters by 0.07 seconds.
A week later in Szeged, Hungary, she was really looking forward to another weekend of racing but, unfortunately, she damaged her neck and left shoulder during a warm up session on the Friday morning. While she raced the semi-final, it was very obvious the injury had taken its toll and she finished in seventh, missing out on the final.
Egan stated, when interviewed at the end of that weekend, that she was bitterly disappointed to pick up the injury but was hopeful of recovering for the next event three weeks later in Belgrade, Serbia.
Egan remained on in Szeged for another three days before travelling to Belgrade during which she had some treatment on her injury.
And the teak-tough Lucan native showed her resolve to fight her way back onto the podium, winning a bronze medal in the 5,000 metre K1 final.
Having not fully recovered from the injury, she was very apprehensive about how she would perform in the final with 22 of the best racers in the world on the start line and a temperature of 32 degrees.
Six athletes, including Egan, broke away from the rest field in the first 500 metres.
This group stayed together for the next 2,000 meters until the Australian Alyssa Bull and Spaniard Laia Pelachs broke away.
However, Egan wasn’t for letting them get away and fought her way back to catch both of them and now the battle was on for the medals.
In a very tight finish, Bull took gold and the Spaniard silver with Egan holding on for bronze.
Egan was delighted to get another podium finish, saying afterwards: “This is a medal I will really cherish as it has been a tough week as my injury limited my training and general preparation.”
“On top of her medal win, she also made the B Final of the 500 metres event and finished ninth in it.
It leaves her in confident form as she heads into a five-week block of training ahead of the senior European championships in Bulgaria in mid-July where she hopes to replicate the form that saw her win a European bronze medal two years ago.
Egan is a member of Salmon Leap Canoe Club in Leixlip and narrowly missed out on qualification for the Rio Olympic Games by one position and has set her sights on the Toyko Olympic Games in 2020.