Ivan Lawler

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Ivan Lawler
Medal record
Representing  United Kingdom
Men's canoe sprint
Canoe Sprint World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1990 Poznań K-2 10000 m
Silver medal – second place 1989 Plovdiv K-2 10000 m
Men's canoe marathon
Canoe Marathon World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1988 Nottingham K-2
Silver medal – second place 1990 Copenhagen K-2
Gold medal – first place 1992 Brisbane K-1
Gold medal – first place 1994 Amsterdam K-2
Gold medal – first place 1996 Vaxholm K-2
Gold medal – first place 1998 Cape Town K-1
Gold medal – first place 1999 Győr K-1
Canoe Marathon European Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1997 Pavia K-2

Ivan Lawler MBE (born 19 November 1966) is a British marathon canoeist who competed from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, winning five gold and two silver medals at the canoe marathon world championships. He also competed in canoe sprint, and won two medals in the K-2 10000 m event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a gold (1990) and a silver (K-2 10000 m: 1989). His world championship record makes him Great Britain's best ever athlete in the sport, and many consider him to be the world's best, especially since he spanned both disciplines of canoe sprint and marathon. At club level, he has always competed for Elmbridge canoe club.

Lawler also competed in three Summer Olympics, but did not advance to the final in any of the Games he competed in. His most notable was sixth in the semifinal round of the K-2 500 m event at Seoul in 1988. In 2011, Lawler attempted to break the long-standing record time in the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon with current world champion Ben Brown. However, they were unsuccessful and retired from the race due to injury and poor flow on the Thames.

He now owns and operates "Ultimate Kayaks", selling new and used Nelo and Epic kayaks including those of Olympic athletes who chose not to take their kayaks home. He also plays a key role in the coaching system at Elmbridge canoe club.

Ivan's latest achievement comes in the form of setting the new Great Glen Paddle course record of 8hrs 1min on 22 March 2014.

In March 2017 he was elected President of British Canoeing, the sport's national governing body.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours.


  • http://www.ultimatekayaks.co.uk/aboutus.asp
  • ICF medalists for Olympic and World Championships – Part 1: flatwater (now sprint): 1936–2007 at WebCite (archived 2009-01-21). Additional archives: Wayback Machine.
  • ICF medalists for Olympic and World Championships – Part 2: rest of flatwater (now sprint) and remaining canoeing disciplines: 1936–2007 at WebCite (archived 2009-11-09)
  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Ivan Lawler". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012.
  • Hickock Sports History
  • http://www.greatglenpaddle.co.uk/results