Slalom canoeists will get an opportunity today of what it will be like if they make the Olympic Games in London as an Ireland team of four – Eoin Rheinisch and Ciarán Heurteau in men’s K1 and Hannah Craig and Aisling Conlon in women’s K1 – have been invited to take part in the Olympic Test Event at Lee Valley Whitewater centre, north of London.
The Olympic Council of Ireland and the National Federation have worked alongside LOCOG to ensure Irish representation at these “invitational events”. Stephen Martin said “The OCI is working with LOCOG in general to secure extra access on a number of competition venues in the build up to London on the basis that the exposure will be motivational and of significant practical help.i.e athletes will gain a performance advantage”.
At the Canoe Test event LOCOG will attempt to produce the exact format of next year’s Olympic Games, there will be just 21 K1 men’s competitors on Saturday – 53 competitors will be reduced to 21 after elimination rounds today.
Rheinisch, finished fourth at the Beijing Olympics, and believes the course is similar to Sunyi venue: an impressive man-made, whitewater structure.
Note already this summer Irish competitors in Race walking, Modern Pentathlon, Showjumping, Eventing have been involved in London test events. Next month the OCI will be in LOndon at the Chef de Mission seminar 8-12 and at pre and post test events which feature Irish athletes from Badminton , Triathlon, Road cycling and Sailing. Olympic Team chef de mission Sonia O’Sullivan , Stephen Martin , Dermot Sherlock and the OCI medical team will get an opportunities to experience events in London one year out.