All six Great Britain athletes - each of them members of Tuesday’s gold medal-winning teams - made short work of today’s heats, qualifying for Saturday’s ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships semi finals from their first runs at Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro.
With temperatures nudging a sweltering 35 centigrade, and humidity to match, World Champion Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods finished the opening C1W heat second and third behind Australian, Jess Fox whose incredible season is showing no hint of a let up.
On a first run were many of the competitors pick up large penalties, 17-year-old Bethan Forrow, had five touches but to her relief still survived to finish nineteenth in the cut of 20.
“I was a bit uneasy when I went through the finish line because of the number of touches I’d got,” said Forrow.
“But I was really pleased to qualify in the first heat and I really didn’t expect it.
The course is really hard and I think a lot of people underestimate it. I think in the semis and finals they’ve got something even harder coming our way– Bethan Forrow
“But I’ve just got to do the same as I did today, adapt and reset my run if things don’t go right.”
As the youngster of the GB team competing in her first senior world championships, Bethan has benefitted from winning the team gold and also being around top level team mates Franklin and Woods.
“The team event definitely put my mind at rest that I was capable of putting down a decent run,” she explained.
“And to be able to paddle with Mal and Kim, and watch how they adapted their runs and coped was really helpful.”
On the course where he made his name, Olympic Champion Joe Clarke produced a near perfect first run to qualify third from a race between 74 competitors.
His gold medal winning team mates from earlier on this week were not far behind, Bradley Forbes-Cryans finishing tenth with a touch and Chris Bowers twenty-third after a clean run.
“It wasn’t my best run but it was the sort of course where it was almost mistake minimisation, more than delivering a run, especially with the heat making it quite hard to race,” said Bowers afterwards.
“It’s nice to do it on the first run and it also gives you an opportunity to watch people coming in to the semi finals which is always handy if there’s a move you’re not too sure about want to see how others are doing it.”
Along with his K1 team mates, Bowers has a day off before getting back into the fray for the semi finals.
“I feel I have the strength and ability to get to the final and hopefully deliver in the final,” he said, before adding just how good it is to be a part of this GB team.
“It gives a nice buzz around the team knowing that all of us are fast enough to deliver. And that was shown in the team event, that we have really strong teams throughout and we would have had four world champions if it wasn’t for penalties.
Everyone seems ready to go, everyone is in really good shape and delivering well– Chris Bowers
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) - Heats 1st run 2nd and direct to semi final on Saturday
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) - Heats 1st run 3rd and direct to semi final on Saturday
Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley Paddle Sports Club) - Heats 1st run 19th and direct to semi final on Saturday
Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone) - Heats 1st run 3rd and direct to semi final on Saturday
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (C.R Cats) - Heats 1st run 10th and direct to semi final on Saturday
Christopher Bowers (Stafford & Stone) - Heats 1st run 23rd and direct to semi final on Saturday
For live streaming and results go to: www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-...
and follow the British action on Twitter @BritishCanoeing 25-30 September 2018.