Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Canoeist Ronan brings home the medals

Kilcullen canoeist Ronan Foley was another international medal winner for Ireland last weekend, writes David McDonnell of Kilcullen Canoe Club, bringing home a silver and a bronze from the 2017 ICF Marathon Canoeing World Cup.

Competing with the best of international marathon canoeists at Hazewinkel, Belgium, the 17 year-old member of Kilcullen Canoe Club (pictured on the right, no 115, above) represented Ireland in the Junior category.

After impressive displays over the weekend he stamped his name on the international marathon canoeing scene, returning home with his medals.

The race programme included a short course distance of 3.5km with two portages where paddlers leap out of their boats and run a short distance with the boat before getting back in at the end of the portage. Ronan won his heat of this event on Friday before taking bronze in the final on Saturday behind a German and a British athlete.

The main event was held on Sunday over the full marathon distance of 20km and five portages. Ronan paddled a tactical race and had to show all his strength and endurance in the final kilometre to take the silver with a German athlete in first.

In the build up to the event Ronan has been training twice a day. He begins training at 6am in the morning with his coach Jon Simmons before attending school in the CBS in Naas. This is followed by training sessions in the afternoon also.

Next up for Ronan is the European Championships in Ponte de Lima in Portugal in June where he will be chasing more medals and the elusive gold for his ever growing collection of international medals.