Mallory Franklin, undoubtedly one of the world’s best women’s C1 paddlers, today demonstrated she is also a force to be reckoned with in the kayak. She took canoe slalom World Cup bronze, behind Germany’s Ricarda Funk and local hero and 2016 Olympic champion Maialen Chourraut, to claim her second K1 World Cup medal of the season to add to her three individual C1 medals so far.
Having won the semi final by nearly one second from the Spaniard, Franklin knew it would be a tough ask to repeat what had been a formidable run.
“I am really pleased!” said the 24-year-old from Windsor. “My semi was a really good solid run and I knew it was a big one to live up to. I didn’t quite manage it and it was a bit of a fight, but it was good fun and I really enjoyed it.
“The course was certainly tough, so I just tried to remember to just keep the boat running the whole way down. I focused on delivering the tough moves well, keep it together on the rest and chuck in a few more technical upstreams to nick a bit of time here and there.
“I knew what Ricarda had done and I heard that Maialen had gone into second. I just knew I had to go do my own run and ensure I did the best I could and if that’s good enough to medal that’s great.”
Delighted she is now challenging for the podium in both women’s Olympic class, Mallory said:
My strength has now caught up with my technical ability a bit. I have always been pretty good technically from paddling on white water since I was really young, but now I am much stronger and have much more consistency and that is now starting to come out. To be able to put sweeps in, cut small bits of time out and still be strong enough to cope is why my kayak results are starting to come up.– Mallory Franklin
Looking ahead to the C1 semi final tomorrow she added: “I am going to try and keep things simple and not over complicate it. Keep the boat running and giving myself the space so I can move into things, stay forward and cancel off the tail a bit.”
For K1 teammates Kimberley Woods and Fiona Pennie the day had gone less well.
Woods had been hoping to have something to celebrate on her 23rd Birthday, but sadly it wasn’t to be. She flipped the boat at upstream gate 13 and hit the wall and never manged to recover.
Fiona Pennie was similarly disappointed to miss out on the final. She was 1.32 second up at the half way stage, but lost time at the second consecutive upstream gate 14, with a 50 second penalty for missing gate 20 relegating her well down the order.
The men’s canoe single (C1) semi final also brought mixed fortunes for Great Britain. In characteristic style Ryan Westley paddled well within himself to post a clean safe run and qualify for the final in fifth. Things were looking good for the in-form David Florence who was cruising swiftly down the course and was 1.2 seconds up at half way. However he suddenly capsized and missed gate 13 putting an end to his 2018 World Cup campaign.
There was also disappointment for European silver medallist, Adam Burgess, who had a good early run, but a touch at upstream gate 17 ultimately cost him a place in the final.
As the sole representative in the men’s C1 final Ryan Westley picked up a couple of touches at upstream gate 14, which was unusually on a stopper. He slipped off ever so slightly and during his recovery he hit the gate, then brushed the second last gate with his chest to finish outside the medals in fifth. However the European Champion has much to be pleased with this season, having finished in the top six at all of the five major events he has contested.
Following a solid block of training over the last seven weeks and feeling a little race-rusty, Westley said: “I am really happy with my consistency. There has been such a big break since the last lot of races I didn’t really know where I was at, so I am pleased to have delivered such a solid semi final.
“Then in the final there were a couple of silly touches which is quite frustrating, but the ability is still there, which is really encouraging going into the worlds in a couple of weeks.”
The World Cup Final continues tomorrow with the women's C1 and the men's K1, when GB will have six more boats in action.
For live streaming and results go to: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-cup/la-seu-durgell-2018
DAY 2 RESULTS SUMMARY
Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe) – Final 5th
Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone) – Semi Final 15th
David Florence (Forth) – Semi Final 30th
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) – Semi Final 1st, Final 3rd
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – Semi Final 26th
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) – Semi Final 28th