Salmon Leap Junior members made up the squad for team Ireland at the marathon world cup in Prague. They were Eabha Ni Drescoil, Paul Donnellan, Ben Higgins and Finn Harris.
It was a great event and some big numbers attended to make this one of the largest world cups in a few years especially in the senior mens race. Racing started on Saturday with the short course up first which was Eabha in the Junior girls for team Ireland. Eabha had a great start and was in the mix coming out of the first portage in 2nd place even with a slip. A struggle to get away from the portage saw Eabha sprint into the finish in a group from 4-6th finishing the race in 5th place.
Up next was the junior boys, with a good start Paul and Finn in the mix down to the bottom turn and sadly Ben took a swim at the very start. The turn saw Paul on a nice side wash and staying there through the two portages with a sprint finish for the medals to take an exciting 3rd place. Finn was in the middle of the field and involved in some real battles through out the short course finishing in a solid 10th place! whilst Ben after a swim got back into his boat to finished a creditable 16th.
Day 2 Sunday was Long course day and again Eabha was up first, of to another good start Eabha was looking in control of the front group, after a battle at the bottom turn saw her drop back a few positions and lose the front group working on her own. Eabha found a group and saw herself sprint in to the finish after a very clean and controlled race in 7th place. Next up were the junior boys team and all the boys had a great start and in the front group mixing it with all the front group, after the bottom turn Finn sadly was caught up in a get together and held back a little but never gave up the chase. Mean while Paul and Ben were still in the front group till the first portage where Ben got stuck and Paul after a slow get out made time up to get back with the front group. Paul was involved in a group of 5 for a few laps and played a very good tactical race to try help get team mate Ben back into the group, sadly this wasn’t to be but a very good idea to help fellow team mate out.
After a few laps Paul found himself in an exciting sprint finish for 3rd place brining home his second medal of the weekend. Ben finished in a solid 7th place with team mate Finn in a creditable 10th place. All of our junior athletes finished in top 10 of the world cup.
Great weekend and well done to all athletes for some great racing building well for the season ahead.