On the first day of the 2017 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Pau, Great Britain got off to an exciting start, claiming gold and silver in the women’s and men’s canoe single (C1) team events.
The trio of Kimberley Woods, Mallory Franklin and Eilidh Gibson raced fast and clean with outstanding team work on show, to claim the World C1 team title, adding the ultimate accolade to their European and U23 World Championships crowns won earlier this year. They finished 1.65 seconds ahead of their rivals Australia, with Czech Republic in third.
Excited by this early confidence boost ahead of the women’s C1 individual heats tomorrow, Windsor’s Mallory Franklin said: “It is pretty cool to win today. It was a bit of a fight and I made a bit of a mistake getting too close to Kim which caused me to paddle back, but to show we are that good as a team at this standard is really good.
“I tend to not usually feel that much in control on the water in Pau, but in both my kayak and C1 I felt in control today and I was able to put the boat where I wanted it to be. It makes me feel pretty good going into tomorrow.
“The weather has either been really hot or pouring it down but the wind is pretty still and makes it nice to paddle. The course will be different for tomorrow and will probably tighten up a bit. Today was slightly more open and about working as a team rather than the course being that difficult but, it will be harder tomorrow.
Also showing team work at its best were the men’s C1 team led off by David Florence, followed by Ryan Westley and Adam Burgess at the back.It was an eventful race with the British trio initially placed second behind the Slovakians only to be dropped to third after a protest by the Slovenian team over an alleged penalty on gate seven. A counter protest by a number f nations eventually saw the decision reversed and confirmation that the silver medal was being awarded to Great Britain, with the French in third.
Buzzing with the result, Adam Burgess the C1 U23 World Champion in 2015 said: I think that is probably the best team run we have ever done together, so we are really happy that it was rewarded with a medal.
“Our across rivers were tight and I didn’t get too close to Ryan or David and gave them the space they needed. It is hard to make sure you all go clean. We just put three great individual runs down and that’s what’s required at this level.
“Normally a good team race after the individual events is a consolation, but with the team events being first this week it is a massive confidence boost to put down a good run at the start and feel in control as well, so it certainly helps for the individual events.
“For the last World Championships I was ranked 43rd and this year I am ranked seventh so I certainly feel more established at the senior level now.”
The individual events get underway tomorrow with the women’s C1 and men’s K1 heats starting at 0815 UK time.
For full results and web streaming: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/pau-2017/
C1 Women’s Team – 1st GOLD
Kimberley Woods (Rugby), Mallory Franklin (Windsor), Eilidh Gibson (Strathallan)
C1 Men’s Team – 2nd SILVER
David Florence (Forth), Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe), Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone)
K1 Men’s Team – 11th
Joseph Clarke (Stafford & Stone), Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats), Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone)
K1 Women’s Team – 16th
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats), Kimberley Woods (Rugby), Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District)