After a return to international competition last month, the nine-strong Canoe Slalom team were all in action on day one of the ICF World Cup in Prague, Czech Republic, with the full team qualifying for the semi-finals in their respective events across the weekend.
Although Kimberley Woods admitted she didn't quite find the rhythm she wanted on her heats run, she comfortably qualified in seventh place and will go again in the morning.
Fiona Pennie needed a second run to secure her spot but she shaved off three second from her first run to qualify comfortably on her second attempt and she will join Mallory and Kimberley in the semi-final tomorrow morning.
Joe Clarke was back on familiar territory, delivering his characteristic speed as he qualified in third place in the men’s kayak to take his spot in the semi-finals.
“It was a solid start to the weekend for me after a really solid block of training,” said the Rio 2016 Olympic champion.
“It’s really nice to be back on the water with a world class field again with another chance to race and practice some of learnings from the Euros in Ivrea.
“I’d never raced on there before so it’s great to be at a familiar venue and back on the World Cup circuit.
“I’m just hoping to progress to the final and then see what happens there. I’ve had a bit of a run of making finals but not making it onto the podium and I really want to break that cycle.
“I’ve fallen short a few times and I really want to keep building each round and perform to the level I know I can.”
CR Cats’ Bradley Forbes-Cryans and Joe’s Stafford and Stone teammate, Chris Bowers both needed second runs, but the pair delivered fast second round performances to book their spot in the action tomorrow.
Three-time Olympic silver medallist David Florence (Lloyds Register) put down a clean run in the first round of the men’s C1 heats. He qualified comfortably this afternoon, finishing in 11th place in 96.00.
Adam Burgess, who heads out to Tokyo for his Games debut next month, had a second run out after late penalties were added to his first round. He made it safely through at the second time of asking and will join David in Sunday's semi-finals.
And Sophie Ogilvie qualified her spot in the C1W semi-final, tidying up the touches in her first run to qualify at the second attempt, finishing the second run in third place with a time of 112.39.
Mark Ratcliffe, Head Coach for the Canoe Slalom team, was pleased with the first day as the team get back on the global stage.
“Today was a really positive day with some fantastic performances across the board. There were some really fast first runs and it was pleasing to see that everyone who had to go again in a second run used their learnings from the first to qualify to the next round.
“There are some good learnings to be had doing a second run, there is extra pressure to deliver and at this stage of the season it’s good to race with a heightened sense of focus.
“We didn’t have a full house through to the semi-finals in Ivrea so it’s nice to see the progress here and see how we go tomorrow.”
The racing gets underway at 0800 tomorrow morning and can be followed on the following links.
Live stream: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe...
Schedule for Saturday 12 June
Women’s K1 semi-finals
0812 Fiona Pennie (CR Cats)
0846 Kimberley Woods (Rugby)
0856 Mallory Franklin (Windsor)
Men’s K1 Semi-finals
0907 Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone)
0911 Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats)
1019 Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone)
1103 Women’s K1 Finals
1140 Men’s K1 Finals
Women’s Extreme Slalom Time Trials
1448 – Fiona Pennie
1450 – Sophie Ogilvie
Men’s Extreme Slalom Time Trials
1501 – Joe Clarke
1524 - Chris Bowers
Mallory Franklin (Windsor and District) - K1 Heats 2nd in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals - 97.25
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – K1 Heats 7th in the first 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals - 99.44
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) 27th in the first run 105.51 and 4th in the second run 102.73, qualifies for the semi-finals
Joe Clarke MBE (Stafford & Stone) – K1 Heats 3rd in the first run 88.19 and qualifies for the semi-finals
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) – K1 Heats 36th in the first run 93.54 / 7th in the second run 91.50
Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone) – K1 Heats 57th in the first run 145.98 / 9th in the second run 92.20
Mallory Franklin (Windsor and District) - C1 Heats 1st the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals - 102.22
Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) – C1 Heats 33rd in the first run 128.31 / 3rd in the second run 112.39 and qualifies for the semi-final
David Florence – C1 heats 11th in the first run in 96.00 and qualifies for the semi-finals
Adam Burgess – C1 heats 28th in the first run 100.83 / 2nd in the second run 96.20 and qualifies for the semi-finals