The Great Britain canoe slalom team continued its medal winning start to the season today, with a silver in the women’s kayak (K1) at the third edition of the 2018 World Cup series in Augsburg, Germany.
World Champion Mallory Franklin, best known as a C1 paddler, backed up her ambition to be equally recognised as a kayaker, with her first ever World Cup medal in K1. The 24-year-old from Windsor, was Britain’s only qualifier in the final, with Fiona Pennie and Kimberley Woods off the pace in the semi final. Mallory finished in second place, 6.46 seconds behind Australia’s Jessica Fox who is in unbeatable form this season, with Eva Tercelj of Slovenia in third.
Franklin had threatened the podium on a couple of occasions last year with two fourths, including at Augsburg and if she can retain her upward trajectory, she looks set to strongly contest Olympic places in both classes, when selection for Tokyo 2020 gets underway in earnest next year. Delighted with the way the season is going so far, Mallory Franklin said:
It was really good to get on the podium. Obviously Jess (Fox) really bashed it out of the park, but to come away with second and my first kayak medal is amazing. With the number of fourths I got last year it is really nice to pull it out and get a medal out of it.– Mallory Franklin
“Augsburg is definitely a course I can paddle well on. I paddled here a lot when I was little and I quite enjoy it. It was a good course, but some of the moves were quite tight. I really struggled with gate one in terms of where that was set and a bit got offline. It was tough and you just had to hold it together and keep fighting all the way down.
“The season is going well so far and I am enjoying it. I generally haven’t quite got out the runs I wanted to, but to still get medals when I haven’t done perfect runs means I can’t complain too much. I knew it would always take me longer to get to the medals in kayak as it is a more competitive discipline than C1. I am really looking forward to the World Championships in Rio at the end of September. We have a training camp there next month and I haven’t been there before and I am really excited about it.”
In the men’s C1, sadly the euphoria of last weekend’s World Cup gold proved short lived for David Florence, with the Scot picking up a touch on Gate 14 in the semi final. The resulting two second penalty proved costly and he finished in 15th and just over a second short of the top ten cut, such is the fickle nature of this exciting sport.
Ironically the man who benefited most from Florence’s mistake was Staffordshire’s Adam Burgess who claimed the final qualification spot in 10th just one place behind teammate and European Champion, Ryan Westley.
At the half-way stage in the final, Westley was lying in third spot and looked like he might just claim his third medal of the season, but there was a charge from the Slovakians, including the legendary Michal Martikan and he slipped down the order and finished in sixth with Burgess in seventh.
A silver medallist at the European Championships in May and a finalist at the last two World Cups, Adam Burgess said: “I feel like I am starting to return to the good form I was having in 2016 and the consistency I had then, so it is good to get that back. I don’t feel 100% yet and I have not quite been where I want to be physically, but it is good to be getting into all these finals and I am on a bit of a streak right now with six clean runs in a row.
“We have been on the road for a few weeks and it is a while since I have had a good block of training, so I am looking forward to getting back to Lee Valley and working hard and coming back even stronger for the second half of the season.”
Great Britain will have five boats in action tomorrow in the women’s C1 and the men’s K1 semi final.
Follow the action live at www.canoeicf.com
Day 2 Results
Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe) – Semi Final 9th, Final 6th
Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone) – Semi Final 10th, Final 7th
David Florence (Forth) –Semi Final 15th
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) – Semi Final 3rd, Final 2nd
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) – Semi Final 19th
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – Semi Final 25th