Ireland's Jezierski secures Olympic spot


Canoeing:A third Irish canoeist has secured a spot at the Olympic games. Andrzej Jezierski overcame extremely difficult conditions to take the second qualifying place in the C1 200 at the European Sprint Canoe Qualifier in Poznan, Poland.

The 31-year-old, who won a silver medal in this class with his native Poland at the 2002 World Championships, finished just over half a second behind Lubomir Hagara of Slovakia and, crucially, over a second ahead of Martin Fuksa of the Czech Republic.

After he had qualified yesterday, Jezierski spoke to his friend and training partner Noel Monahan in Cork and reportedly told him to expect “more hard training”. The strongly-built Pole lives with his family in Cork and trains at the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood.

While the Irish Canoe Union has been in contact with him for a while, it was only in recent weeks that he opted definitively for Ireland.

Karl Dunne of the Irish Canoe Union said he was “delighted” with the result and still hopeful that Jenny Egan could join Jezierski and slalom canoeists Hannah Craig and Eoin Rheinisch in London.

Egan (25) finished seventh in the K1 500 metres A Final yesterday. The two automatic qualification places went to Russia and Norway. There is a slim chance that as some places are handed back Egan will come into play on the “countback” system. The decision is due to be made next month.