Britain’s Mallory Franklin won the silver medal in the women’s C1 final whilst penalties kept Olympic Champion Joe Clarke off the men’s K1 podium as the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships came to a close in Rio today.
Twenty four year old Franklin capped her most successful week yet at the 2016 Olympic venue. Despite a two second penalty today she finished with silver behind the unstoppable Australian Jess Fox.
“It was a good run and that’s all I can ask for,” said Franklin, who finishes the championships with a gold, two silvers and a bronze medal across individual and team events.
“Yesterday’s K1 final was such a high for me and I was really drained emotionally last night and I struggled to sleep, over-thinking things and that kind of played in today a little bit. But I’ve got to learn from that.
“I am really happy for Jess to get both the golds this week. Her composure and her ability to spit out good runs at that speed is just crazy good and she completely deserves her success.”
In the same final, Britain’s Bethan Forrow completed her own outstanding week by finishing eighth, well beyond her wildest dreams at the start of the week.
The 17-year-old, who began the sport through British Canoeing’s Olympic Legacy Programme, leaves Brazil with a gold medal from the C1W team final (with Franklin and Kimberley Woods) and plenty of confidence for the future.
“Those team medals earlier in the week were a really good start and the whole team is really thriving off that at the moment,” Franklin continued.
You look at Beth in the final today and, to keep her composure to do an alright run, to stay calm and to not lose it was really impressive– Mallory Franklin
“She brings a completely different attitude to it, a young enthusiasm and it’s a really good experience for her to have sat on that start line and gone last. That will help her in the future.”
Determined to make his first world championships podium, Britain’s Joe Clarke delivered the fastest run of today’s high quality men’s K1 final but two penalties pushed him down to fifth. The victory went to Germany’s Hannes Aigner.
“I pretty much delivered what I was capable of but the penalties were very costly, four seconds was too much to absorb,” said a disappointed Clarke.
If it was just two seconds then I could have still been on the podium which would have been great. And obviously if I’d been clean I would have been World Champion which would have been even better– Joe Clarke
“It’s quite frustrating as my time today was obviously the quickest and I was the quickest through all the rounds.
“So, to come away with the fifth place I’m quite gutted but there are lots of positives to take away from it.”
The 2018 season has been a good one for Clarke who won a gold and a bronze on the world cup circuit. And he performed exceptionally well this week in Rio establishing himself as one of the top boats.
“Winning two medals and a few qualifications and semi finals along the way, it’s been a great season and it’s certainly building nicely,” he added. “I feel I can consolidate on my position in the top five in the world.”
Having been on the podium eight times for individual C1 and K1 events this year, Franklin ends the 2018 season knowing she has finally come of age in both boat classes.
It's been a crazy-good year for me especially at the back end. In my last three races to be on the podium in both events and to be up there in kayak is what I have dreamed of– Mallory Franklin
"It's allowed me to have confidence to just paddle and enjoy it, to build my strength and allow me to keep putting in performances that I'm proud of to get the results that I'd like.”
Great Britain finished the championships with a medal haul of two golds, three silvers and two bronzes (the silver medals achieved in three of the four Olympic categories).
“We are really pleased with what the team has achieved this year from the championships,” said British Canoeing Slalom Head Coach, Mark Ratcliffe.
"Having a stronger team across the board sets us up really well at the end of year two of the cycle.
Next year is going to be a key year for us as seeing all our athletes pushing towards the level of being medallists is really fantastic– Mark Ratcliffe, British Canoeing Slalom Head Coach
“We are very proud of the whole team and I’d like to thank an exceptional group of committed staff who are all working very hard supporting our athletes.”
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) – final 2nd Silver
Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley Paddle Sports Club) – final 8th
Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone) – final 5th