Sports Awards: Jubilant Jenny is crowned Sports Star 2017
By Stephen Leonard
SCOOPING five major international medals this year, Lucan kayaker Jenny Egan was crowned The Echo Sports Star 2017 at last week’s presentation night in the Green Isle Hotel.
Her season really kicked off with a gold medal at the ICF World Cup K1 5000m in Portugal where she also recorded her first-ever appearance in a World Cup K1 200m Final.
Two weeks later she won World Cup K1 5000m bronze in Belgrade after which she brought home the same colour from the World Marathon Championships in South Africa.
In doing that, she became the first Irish female athlete to medal on that global stage and the first Irish competitor since 1996.
Silver and bronze at the International Canoe Marathon World Cup in China followed before she teamed up with her brother Peter to land the Mixed K2 title at the International Liffey Descent after having also carded the Senior National K1 Marathon Championship title.
Emerging victorious from a fiercely competitive field of athletes in the running for ‘The Echo 2017 Sports Star of the Year’ Award, Egan, who had been nominated in the previous two years, could not contain her delight at finally picking up the top honour.
“It was just so amazing,” she said afterwards. “To be even nominated and to pick up a monthly award is great, but then to win the overall ‘Sports Star of the Year’ Award – it was just so exciting.
“To see the look of shock and excitement on the faces of my family, it was just great.
“It’s also great for minority sport and for canoeing and kayaking, because I was up against others in so many well-known sports who had also done so well.
“2017 has been so exciting. Five major international medals. It’s what dreams are made of. To get two Senior Canoe Sprint World Cup medals and then a Senior Canoe Marathon World Championship medal and two Senior Canoe Marathon World Cup medals is just amazing.
“My highlight has to be winning a Senior Canoe Marathon World Championship bronze medal at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
“The last one won for Ireland was 21 years ago in 1996 and that was the first one won for Ireland as well, but that was by a male athlete and so I’m the first female to win a Senior Canoe Marathon World Championship for Ireland, so it’s very special for my family, my club Salmon Leap Canoe Club, and for my country” she added.