Mallory Franklin started as she finished off last season, showing she is an international class act in the women’s kayak single (K1) as well as the canoe single (C1), today winning individual K1 silver at the European Championships in Pau to add to the C1 Team gold she won yesterday, with Kimberley Woods and Sophie Ogilvie.
The World K1 silver medallist hadn’t had the easiest of times qualifying through the heats on Thursday, taking a nervy second heat run to secure her spot in the semi-finals. However today, on a more technical course, she fared much better and nailed her first clean run of the week when it mattered most to clinch silver, posting 105.14 seconds, only 0.19 seconds behind Amalie Hilgertova of the Czech Republic.
“I am really pleased. My run was really good, although I had a few moments where it got a bit sketchy, but I kept the boat running and kept on plan, so to come out with a medal is really nice,” said the 24-year-old from Windsor.
The course being quite technical today helped me. To get a medal was a bit of a surprise for me as I’ve been struggling a bit this week with picking up penalties and managing to keep my head, so this afternoon it was great to put a run down like that in the final and with that kind of pace.– Mallory Franklin
“The water is so surging here you get thrown at gates when you are not expecting it and can get blindsided. Some of the upstreams are quite hard and to do them well you have to be right underneath the poles and you can catch them easily.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s C1 semi-final, Mallory added: “It is going to be a hard course for C1 with a lot of tough moves, but I am looking forward to going out and seeing what I can put down.”
Scotland’s Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) had also been involved in the semi-final but sadly just missed out, finishing in 11th place just one below the cut. She had started off well and was up on clock at the first split, but a couple of touches on gates 15 and 20 were her undoing. Agonisingly she had to sit and wait for the last four boats to come down the course and she was still in tenth place until Germany’s Ricard Funk, the last boat down, ran to form and nudged her below the cut line.
Earlier, Great Britain impressively had three paddlers in the men’s canoe single (C1) event, Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone), David Florence (Lloyds Register) and Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe).
For a second year running they all negotiated their way through the semi-final, although Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe), going early in the order had a long and agonising wait before going through in tenth position.
In the final it was Adam Burgess who was the top British finisher coming fifth in 102.77 seconds and just one touch between him and a medal. Ryan finished in eighth and can be satisfied with making it through to final in his first race of the year, given his ongoing recovery from shoulder surgery. David Florence who had shown great speed down the course this week came unstuck today, missing a couple of gates to end his chances of a podium position.
A positive Adam Burgess said “It was a very hard course today and it was really cool to have all three British C1 boats in the final for the second year running, which was not really a surprise, given the quality of the guys we have got. I was really disappointed not to be on the podium as it was only the touch that cost me. It was an upstream gate that I have always had a bit of trouble with, but there is no room for error.
“I am really happy with my paddling. I had three very solid runs and I kept my head and dealt with the course better than a lot of people. I feel like I have found my groove again and the consistency and composure that I had in the 2016 season when I was making a lot of finals, but I am certainly more of a medal contender now than I was then and have a few more strings to my bow.
“The World Cup is the priority and with my taper I am aiming to peak at that race in two weeks time not this one, so it is looking good.”
The final day of this year’s championships will see the semi-final and final of the men’s K1 and women’s C1 with five British boats in action.
You can follow all the action from the European Championships via the British Canoeing live blog which can be found here: britishcanoeing.org.uk/live with highlights on Twitter @BritishCanoeing.
DAY 3 RESULTS SUMMARY
Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone) – Final 5th
Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe) – Final 8th
David Florence (Lloyds Register) – Final 10th
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) – Final 2nd
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) – Semi-final 11th