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Franklin and Forbes-Cryans secure further Olympic quota places at Canoe Slalom World Championships

Mallory Franklin C1 Semi La Seu

It was another day of high drama at the Canoe Slalom World Championships which concluded in La Seu today. Great Britain secured a further two Olympic quota places in the women’s canoe single (C1) and the men’s kayak single (K1) with Mallory Franklin and Bradley Forbes-Cryans also finishing top of the individual points race.

In a week where the World Championships have almost felt a sideshow to Olympic qualification, Mallory Franklin (Windsor and District) and Kimberley Woods (Rugby) were back in action today in the women’s C1 and Franklin was hoping to put the disappointment of yesterday’s K1 performance behind her.

But nerves continued to get the better of her and the 24-year-old had a near nightmare run. She capsized at gate 14 and that looked like it would be the end. But after a miraculous recovery where she had to paddle back to the gate, her trademark steely determination kicked in to complete the course and clinch Great Britain’s women’s C1 quota place, despite an 11th place finish that rendered her out of the final.

Relieved to have kept her Olympic campaign on track, Mallory said: “I am really happy that I came out on top, but I would have liked to have done it in a better style. That run was definitely not my best canoeing and I have struggled a lot this weekend in putting runs down and being able to hold things mentally. I am just relieved to have come out of the weekend with something positive.

I knew I had the pace coming in but with the amount of pressure coming into this race it was always going to be hard to put it out there. I am definitely in the best shape I have ever been although I haven’t shown it this week.

– Mallory Franklin

Buoyed by her success yesterday, coming sixth in the women’s K1 final Kimberley Woods confidence was flying high, however she too didn’t have the best of runs and finished one place behind Franklin in 12th.

Kimberley said: “It came down to the wire at the end of the day and I am gutted to have not done better in C1 but it is great that the nation has still qualified the quota spot.”

Kimberley Woods C1 Semi La Seu

Kimberley Woods, women's C1 semi-finalist

Completing the British trio, Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) also bowed out in the semi-final finishing 23rd. It was a solid performance from the 20-year-old from Falkirk, in her first World Championship semi-final. She finishes a successful debut international season, knowing she has benefited hugely from the experience and has lots of learnings to take forward over the winter.

Sophie Ogilvie C1 Semi La Seu

In the men’s K1 the 40-strong semi-final line up was quickly whittled down to 10 and both Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone) and Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) were amongst them.

Bradley put down a stellar run in the semi to make his first ever World Championship final. An hour later he went on to post one of the best runs of his life, with just the lightest of touches on gate 10 ultimately costing him a medal, to finish in fourth, a significant achievement nevertheless.

With the pressure mounting, Olympic Champion, Joe Clarke set off well, but a touch on gate 11 and again on 19 upset his plans and he finished just behind Bradley in fifth. It was not the outcome he was looking for and it opened the door for Bradley who now tops the British selection standings.

Thrilled to have his best ever performance at a World Championships, Bradley said: “I was really, really pleased with the run today. I just came into this competition with no expectations whatsoever and normally I have made this a real make or break competition for me. I picked up a small penalty which has cost me a medal today, but I am really happy with my performance across the weekend.

“It is super fine margins in this men’s K1 event and I feel for Joe who was on the wrong side of it today.”

Bradley Forbes Cryans K1 Semi La Seu

Bradley finishes 4th in the men's K1 Final

Summing up the weekend’s racing Paul Ratcliffe, Canoe Slalom Performance Director said: “It was incredibly tough, tight racing this week. We know that we have such a strong team and that it is always going to be difficult to separate them and we have a first past the post policy."

Every single member of the team, athletes and coaching staff have handled themselves incredibly well under intense pressure. To leave here having achieved our number one aim of securing four Olympic quota places is a great position to be in.

– Paul Ratcliffe, British Canoeing Performance Director

Day 5 Results Summary

Women’s C1

Mallory Franklin (Windsor and District) – C1 semi-final 11th

Kimberley Woods (Rugby) - C1 semi-final 12th

Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) - C1 semi-final 23rd

 Men’s K1

Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) – Final 4th

Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone) – Final 5th

 For full results and VOD go to https://www.canoeicf.com/

See the Great Britain Olympic slalom team compete at the European Championships

Great Britain’s slalom paddlers will be competing on home soil at the European Canoe Slalom Championships presented by Jaffa on 15 -17 May 2020 at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 1 October. Full booking details on priority tickets are available here https://www.britishcanoeingevents.org.uk/