Canoe Slalom racer Liam Jegou has become the first Team Ireland athlete to be selected for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

The 24-year-old will compete in the C1 category at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre in Tokyo from the 26-27 July 2020.

Jegou, originally from Clare but based in France, won silver at the 2014 Junior World Championships and bronze in the 2019 U23 World Championships.

He was nominated for this summer's games after finishing on top in the three-race selection criteria, which included the World Championships in Spain, the event in which Ireland qualified the coveted Olympic berth courtesy of Robert Hendrick, another talented Irish racer.

The last Irish athlete to compete in the event was Mike Corcoran at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

"Being an Olympian has always been one of my biggest dreams," said Jegou

"I started training when I was 11 or 12, the past month has been unbelievable knowing that I am going to compete for Team Ireland in the Olympics. In my sport the Olympics is everything, it's what everyone works for in their sport.

"It’s such a select thing; there’s only one athlete per nation that gets to go and when you to go you just want to give it your all. Most people only get to go to the Games once or twice in their lives, and I’m certainly not going to let the opportunity pass me."

Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle added: "It’s very exciting, this is our first athlete to be approved as part of Team Ireland for the 2020 Olympics – it’s great for the sport and great for Liam.

"There is a tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to support sports and our athletes to qualify and perform at the Games. It’s a real team effort with our National Federations, the Sport Ireland Institute and a range of other support groups working together with the athletes as our priority.

"Liam has his own story and we are so pleased to be supporting the next chapter in his journey as he prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games."