Great Britain’s David Florence proved that he is still a world force to be reckoned with today as he topped the leader board at World Cup 2 in Krakow, Poland, taking gold in the men’s canoe single (C1).
The Scot had looked in confident mood all week, cruising through the heats on Friday and then posting the fastest run time in both the semi final and final. He finished with an impressive 83.86 seconds, 0.27 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Alexander Slafkovsky with Michal Jane of the Czech Republic in third.
Delighted to win his first World Cup medal since 2015, David Florence said: “I am incredibly pleased to be back on the podium and a bit relieved to be honest. I have felt like I have paddled so well in recent times but just not got the rewards.
“The guys in Britain are so strong now that winning selection in itself was a great achievement, but winning the semi finals at Europeans and coming away with nothing and then missing the final at the first World Cup last week was pretty disappointing.
To be right up there and win the semi final, it would have been tough to come away with nothing. I put in a great run and to actually win the race makes me very, very happy.– David Florence
Asked about the pressure of going off last he added: “I didn’t know how the race was going and I don’t really find it makes a lot of odds. Sometimes if the final is not going well for the other guys it can seem like it should be easy to do it, but you still have to put in a good run. And sometimes if it is really tight you try to chase it too much. It doesn’t really matter how the other guys are going it is all about yourself and focusing from gate to gate and doing a good run, which is what I managed to do today.
“I have enjoyed training here this week but when they set the course yesterday most people thought it looked pretty brutal. I am not saying I found it easy but I felt I had prepared well and was able to give it my best shot.”
Great Britain’s Ryan Westley and Adam Burgess were also in fine form and coming second and fourth respectively in the semi final, must have rightly fancied their chances of joining Florence with a podium finish. But with all top ten paddlers gunning for glory, the smallest of errors proved costly and a mere 0.93 seconds separated the top six.
The West country’s Ryan Westley shaved nearly half a second off his semi final time, but it just wasn’t enough today and the European Champion had to settle for sixth, despite another brilliant week of racing.
“It was a super tight final today. Obviously I wanted to be on the podium, but it wasn’t my day but I am still happy to be in and around it.
“I actually thought my time in the final would have been a bit worse than the semi as I changed my plan going down and took on a spin and didn’t deliver it particularly well, so when I saw I was only 0.6 adrift I thought that was ok, until I saw that put me in fifth! I was closer this week to the winner than I was last weekend when I got a bronze, so that shows how tight it was.”
European silver medallist, Adam Burgess also came so near and yet so far and the smallest of mistakes saw him drop down the leader board to finish eighth, but he is undoubtedly showing his consistency at the highest level and regularly challenging for the medals in the finals.
Scotland’s Fiona Pennie was Great Britain’s sole representative in the women’s single kayak (K1) final today, with both Kimberley Woods and Mallory Franklin unfortunately missing the top ten cut in the semis.
Contesting her first World Cup final of the season, Pennie picked up a touch early on at gate two and couldn’t find the added pace to keep the later paddlers at bay. The race was won by Australia’s Jessica Fox.
The stage is set for more exciting World Cup racing tomorrow with the men’s K1 and women’s C1 semi finals and finals and Great Britain will have the a further six boats in action.
For official website visit: www.canoeicf.com
For live results visit: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-cup/krakow-2018/rankings-results
DAY 2 RESULTS SUMMARY
David Florence (Forth) – Semi Final 1st, Final 1st
Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe) – Semi Final 2nd, Final 6th
Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone) – Semi Final 4th, Final 8th
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) – Semi Final 9th, Final 6th
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – Semi Final 12th
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) – Semi Final 25th