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Historic World Cup gold for Ballyvaughan’s Liam Jegou

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Ballyvaughan’s Liam Jegou created history over the weekend becoming the first Irish canoeist to win gold in the canoe slalom World Cup.

A brilliant performance from Liam in Pau on Sunday, the French city where he is based, saw him claim gold in the C1 category of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup.

His run of 100.35 seconds was 0.73 seconds quicker than Vaclav Chaloupka of the Czech Republic and capped a fine week of form for Jegou who had the fastest qualification time on Friday.

Not alone was Liam’s gold the first time an Irish canoeist won gold in the C1 category but it also marked the first gold world medal secured by the Clare man.

“What a day, what a week, what a year. Buzzing to have put down a big run in my first World Cup final,” he said following the success. “I’ve been pushing myself really hard now for several years, and all summer, preparing for  events like this. So I’m absolutely thrilled to put down a big run like this in the seniors, it means a lot”.

Before moving back to France, Liam lived in Muckinish in the North Clare harbour village. He previously won silver at the 2014 Junior World Championship and bronze at the U23 World Championships in 2019.

Liam will compete in the C1 class at the Tokyo Olympics and will become only the second Irish athlete to do so following in the footsteps of Mike Corcoran who competed in the Atlanta Games in 1996. Indeed, Jegous was the first member of Team Ireland to be formally selected for the Tokyo Games.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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