A year later than planned, Great Britain's Olympic canoe slalom team are ready to take on the 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre in Tokyo, Japan.
With the action getting underway Sunday 25 July, the men’s C1 and women’s K1 kick-start racing with two sets of heats on day one of the competition.
A team full of debutants, Britain has a quartet of canoe slalom athletes all looking to make their mark in Japan, after qualifying all four boat quota spots available at the 2019 World Championships over 20 months ago.
A record 34 countries will contest the canoe slalom medals, eclipsing the previous best of 30 countries set at both the Rio and London Olympics and new Olympic champions will be crowned in three of the four events, with only one previous slalom gold medallist taking to the water in Tokyo.
Adam Burgess leads the charge for the British team as he lines up in the men’s C1 heats on Sunday at 5.35 BST.
The Stafford and Stone athlete is Great Britain’s first ever C1 U23 World Champion and has been growing in stature over the last few years, becoming the 2018 European Championships silver medallist and winning a World Cup silver medal in 2019.
A consistent season in 2019 earned him the Tokyo spot and has shown some great early season pace across the rounds in the opening races of the 2021 season, displaying a year of hard work put in during a competition-less year in 2020.
Adam, alongside the rest of the British team, will take on two runs in the heats, with the Olympic Games format using the fastest time of the two performances to provide the qualification result needed to make the semi-finals.
Having turned 29 whilst out in Japan, Adam will come up against 17 C1 paddlers from across the globe, displaying the number four bib as he paddles the newly built course.
Kimberley Woods will also be in action on day one of the racing in Tokyo as she takes on the women’s K1 heats, with her first run on the Kasai Canoe Slalom course at 6:32.30 BST before returning after 7:58 BST.
Kimberley had her first insight of the Olympic Games five years ago as a member of the Team GB Ambition Programme at Rio 2016. Since then, the Rugby Canoe Club athlete has continued to be impressive on the international stage, winning U23 World Championship bronze in 2018, before achieving her highest senior World Championship finish in 2019 to finish sixth and claim that Olympic place.
That form has continued to show as she finished narrowly off the podium at the European Championships earlier this year.
The 26-year-old will take her place amongst a stacked field of 27 athletes and occupy the number 10 bib as she looks to make her mark on her first Olympic Games.
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) will make Olympic Games history this summer, as she prepares to compete in the inaugural women’s C1 event, making the Olympic canoe slalom programme equal for men and women for the first time.
Taking up this new discipline for women in 2010, Mallory has waited with keen anticipation for an opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage, since getting her first taste of a Games as a spectator at London 2012.
The 2017 World Champion will first be in action on Wednesday at 5:40 BST and goes into the competition off the back of a remarkable 2019 season, where she became European Champion and won gold at the first World Cup in front of a home crowd.
22 athletes will be part of the history making event, with Mallory second last to go down the course within the first heats.
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats CC) completes the canoe slalom line-up taking on this summer’s Olympic Games. Also racing for the first time on Wednesday, the men’s K1 heats is Bradley’s first opportunity to pull on the Team GB kit for the first time.
A storming performance at the 2019 World Championships in La Seu, Spain secured Bradley with the Olympic spot for Tokyo 2020. The Scottish paddler produced a super quick time in the World Championships final after a consistent competition saw him just out of the medals in fourth place.
The 2018 U23 World Championship silver medallist is first in action at 14:37.30 BST and is looking to display some of that trademark pace as he races out in Japan.
|Sunday 25 July||5.00am||Men's C1 Heats first run||Adam Burgess|
|5.47am||Women's K1 Heats first run||Kimberley Woods|
|6.57am||Men's C1 Heats second run|
|7.45am||Women's K1 Heats second run|
|Monday 26 July||6.00am||Men's C1 Semi-final|
|7.45 am||Men's C1 Final|
|Tuesday 27 July||6.00 am||Women's K1 Semi-final|
|8.00 am||Women's K1 Final|
|Wednesday 28 July||5.00am||Women's C1 Heats first run||Mallory Franklin|
|5.47am||Men's K1 Heats first run||Bradley Forbes-Cryans|
|6.57am||Women's C1 Heats second run|
|7.45am||Men's K1 Heats second run|
|>td >6.00 am||Women's C1 Semi-final|
|7.45 am||Women's C1 Final|
|Friday 30 July||6.00 am||Men's K1 Semi-final|
|8.00 am||Men's K1 Final|
How can you follow?
Follow all the action on our live blog and social media channels for live commentary of the events, as well as round ups and quotes from each day.
Live coverage of the Games will be available on the Discovery+ platforms, BBC, Eurosport and with specific channel information provided nearer the event.
New to paddling?
If you have been inspired by watching canoe slalom and canoe sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, check out our Go Paddling website to find out everything you need to know to start your own paddling adventure.