Mallory Franklin won her first senior individual C1 canoe slalom World Championship title in style today, to add to the C1 team gold she won on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old from Windsor posted the fastest run of the day in a time of 109.09 seconds to finish more than four seconds ahead of Tereza Fiserova of Czech Republic in second and Ana Satila of Brazil in third.
Earlier in the semi final she just squeezed through in 10th place, but going first in the final she put down a near perfect run and set a tough time which proved too much for the others to match. One by one her competitors fell by the wayside, including the three time World Champion, Australia’s Jessica Fox.
Twice a World silver medallist, an ecstatic Mallory Franklin who had won the U23 World title earlier in the season said: “I am really, really happy. It was a very good run and for me to put it down here on what is not one of my favourite courses was great.
“I put my semi final result aside and decided I was going to go out and focus on enjoying my paddling, stick to my plan, keep it calm and it came off. The bottom half of the course went especially well and I was watching everyone else coming down quietly confident about my chances.
“Going off first in a final like this means you have to do your own run and don’t have to worry about what anybody else has done. You just get to go out and set a time which I think really helped me and use your own ability to have that kind of run.
“I was pretty confident that I had done a time which would medal. I knew there were people who were capable of being competitive at least, but to win is just crazy.
“To have the first year in the Olympic cycle winning U23 and senior World Championship titles is a real boost and I look forward to getting back training and trying to do it again next year.”
Teammate Eilidh Gibson also excelled herself to finish fourth and claim her best ever World Championship result, although disappointed to finish one place short of the podium.
Missing out on the K1 semi final yesterday, Kimberley Wood’s woes continued today and despite a flawless top half of the course and being up on both splits, she got caught up on the bottom third and dropped back to eighth.
After a disrupted start to the year, Olympic Champion Joe Clarke also showed that he is back to his best. He attacked the course well and kept his run clean but he couldn’t quite match the speed required in an incredible final that saw him finish sixth to equal his best World Championships result.
Joe Clarke said: "I can’t really complain. I have been 1st, 4th and 6th this week. It would have been nice to do it the other way round but some solid racing and I am really getting back to where I was last year.
“I didn’t want to leave anything out there today. It is a tough course and I always knew I would have to be on top form and I was. Had the wind blown the other way I could have been on the podium. Unfortunately I got a bit of bad water round gates 16 to 18 which cost me but I am still very happy. The first Worlds in the new cycle and 6th place.”
The semi finals continue tomorrow with men’s C1 and women’s K1 from 0930.
DAY 4 RESULTS SUMMARY
C1 Women Heats
Mallory Franklin (Windsor) – Final 1st
Eilidh Gibson (Strathallan) – Final 4th
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – Final 8th
K1 Men Heats
Joseph Clarke (Stafford & Stone) – Final 6th
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) – Semi Final 28th
Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone) - Semi Final 30th
For full results and web streaming: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/pau-2017/
The BBC will be covering the finals as follows:
Saturday, 30 September
14:00-16:30, BBC Red Button - live coverage
Events: K1 women & C1 finals and awards ceremonies
17:30-20:00, connected TVs and online - replay
Monday, 2 October
13:00-14:00, BBC Two - Highlights
16:15-17:15, BBC Red Button and online - highlights (repeat)