Wildwater star Laura Milne made it through to the women’s K1 final at the second attempt on day three of the World Championships in Bratislava, which also featured the extreme slalom time trials.
The Pinkston Panthers racer missed out on making it straight through to Saturday’s final in the first heat, finishing 17th with only the top five initially gaining a place.
But Laura made no mistake second time around, with a further ten final spots up for grabs in the second run, qualifying seventh fastest to keep her medal hopes alive going into the weekend.
“I just went really hard off the start and tried to control the middle, I went a little bit wrong but kept going and just wanted to see what happened,” said Laura, who clocked 62.43s.
“It’s quite a tough course, you just get shoved around the whole place and don’t really know what’s happening.
“It wasn’t a very long [wait] because I only needed to beat the two after me to qualify, so within a minute I knew I was in the final.
I’m just really excited to race again tomorrow, the worst that can happen is I come 15th so let’s see what happens.– Laura Milne
In the Wildwater men’s K1, unfortunately a place in the final was just out of reach for the British trio of Freddie Brown, Jacob Holmes and Robert Jefferies.
All three missed out on a top five finish in the first run before Freddie fared best out of the British contingent in the second heat, taking 17th in 56.12s, just 1.59s outside tenth place and a qualifying spot.
Jacob was only two places further back, recording a time of 56.41s while Robert placed 33rd after crossing the line in 68.01s on a challenging course in the Slovakian capital.
Simon Wright, team leader for the wildwater racing team was delighted for Laura.
"I'm so pleased for Laura. She did exceptionally well today and kept her head under pressure," he said.
"She stayed on her line, didn't get flustered and gave it all she had."
In Canoe Slalom, Friday saw the start of the Extreme Slalom with the Time Trial for both the men and women.
Kimberley Woods continued her fine paddling form, after a tough build-up by making it through to Sunday’s heats alongside teammate Mallory Franklin.
Kimberley qualified fourth fastest overall in 58.96s and was joined by Mallory who recorded a time of 59.63s to place ninth in the field.
With just two spots per nation available in the women’s event, Fiona Pennie was very unfortunate to miss out, finishing just 0.26s behind Mallory, with Nikita Setchell also eliminated with places at a premium in a packed field at the Worlds.
“I didn’t know what to expect from it and I just went out there to really enjoy and obviously I really wanted to get through but going against three other great British girls, it’s hard to know whether you will make it,” said Kimberley, who will next race in Saturday’s K1 semi-final.
“It was a lot of fun and pretty tricky, I didn’t expect to be as high up as I was but it’s going to be a completely different ball game when there’s three paddlers on the course with you.”
Mallory added: “It’s only my second time doing it and it’s cool to get through when it could’ve gone either way with Fi close behind me and I’m looking forward to my first head to head.”
With just the one men’s nation place available through the time trial it was Bradley Forbes-Cryans, who finished sixth in the K1 at Tokyo 2020, who took the spot with a great run.
Bradley clocked a time of 55.55s to finish fifth fastest overall, narrowly edging out compatriot Joe Clarke who finished in 55.92s to place 10th in the field.
“I’m not really used to competing in two events which is something I’m trying to adapt well to, it was really tight racing but to come out on top of the Brits feels really good and is really positive with it [Extreme] being included at Paris 2024,” said Bradley.
“I really did feel like I was just racing against the British boys with only spot available, going out there knowing you had to produce something special to qualify.
“I had a really clean run down the course, to get through feels awesome.”
Chris Bowers finished in 31st overall with Jake Brown also missing out after finishing in 37th place in the 82 strong field.
After Friday’s Extreme action, canoe slalom head coach Mark Ratcliffe said: “The start line is pretty full and makes it really, really tough - only one boat through in the kayak men and possibly a couple more through in the women.
“A really good performance from Bradley, really good pace in a really tight race as was Joe but unfortunately just missing out with the nation places.
“Mall and Kim both had really good pace as well and to qualify through was really pleasing. It’s new for everyone and we are still learning so they are in a good place but there’s a lot to go through yet.”
Racing continues tomorrow with the Canoe Slalom Kayak semi-finals and finals in the morning with Laura in action in the Wildwater K1 finals in the afternoon.
You can follow all the action live via the options below:
British Canoeing Live Blog
ICF Live stream
Schedule for Saturday 25 September
Individual K1 events semi finals - top 10 qualify
0819 Fiona Pennie
0829 Mallory Franklin
0831 Kimberley Woods
0908 Men's Kayak K1 Semi-final – top 10 qualify
0944 Bradley Forbes-Cryans
1004 Chris Bowers
Individual K1 events Finals & Medals
11:03 Women's Kayak K1 Final
11:40 Men's Kayak K1 Final
13:00 Women's K1 Wildwater Finals
13:04 Laura Milne
Results from Friday 24 September
Laura Milne 17th in 63.58 in the first run / 7th in the second run in 62.43 and qualifies for the finals
Frederick Brown 21st in the first run in 56.28 / 17th in the second run in 56.12
Jacob Holmes 31st in the first run in 59.95 / 19th in the second run in 56.41
Robert Jeffries 32nd in the first run in 61.68 / 33rd in the second run in 68.01
Extreme Slalom time trial results
Kimberley Woods - 4th in 58.96 and progresses to the heats
Mallory Franklin - 9th in 59.63 and progresses to the heats
Fiona Pennie - 10th in 59.89
Nikita Setchell - 25th in 61.63
Bradley Forbes-Cryans - 5th in 55.55 and progresses to the heats
Joe Clarke - 10th in 55.92
Chris Bowers - 31st in 57.40
Jake Brown - 37th in 58.69