OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Evy Leibfarth on the women’s side and Casey Eichfeld on the men’s were announced as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics in canoe/kayak events at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Saturday.

Leibfarth had already qualified in canoe slalom because she had built up a lead in previous events. Still, she posted the best time in the event Saturday on a stormy day at Riversport OKC. Leibfarth earned her spot in kayak slalom on Saturday. She also is eligible to compete in kayak cross, a new Olympic event, this year.

Leibfarth will compete in her second Olympics. She finished 18th in canoe slalom and 12th in kayak slalom at the Tokyo Olympics when she was 17. Now 20, she’s excited to take a new level of maturity into the Olympics.

“I only had, like, one year of experience under my belt really, racing as a senior, so I just didn’t really know how to deal with the stress around these things,” she said. “I never really had that until the season with the Olympics. And I think that I just let everything get to my head so much and I didn’t just enjoy racing as much as I should have. So I’m excited to take a lot of strategies that I’ve been working on the past three years and just enjoy the journey.”

She will become the first American to participate in three whitewater events at the Games. She will again take the journey with her father, Lee Leibfarth as her coach.

Eichfeld qualified in canoe slalom, becoming the first American to qualify for four Olympics in slalom. He qualified in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Now 34, he seeks his first Olympic medal. His best Olympic finish was seventh in canoe slalom in 2016.


AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games