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Second World Cup silver for David Florence in La Seu

David Florence collected his second men’s C1 silver medal in three World Cup races after surging onto the podium on the last day of action in La Seu.

The two-time world champion looked like he might claim gold as he sat in first place with just one paddler to go, but Spanish home favourite Miquel Trave pipped him to the win by 0.32s.

David showed all his technical ability with a fantastic clean run timed at 89.13s on a far from easy course and he is now second in the overall World Cup standings.

“I was really pleased to know I had a place on the podium but I thought I was in with a chance of sneaking the win,” said David.

“But local guy Trave just had an awesome run and fair play to him for taking the gold today but I’m hugely happy to get a medal.

“Every single medal you ever win is so hard-fought so to have picked up two already this year is massively encouraging for me and I’m super proud of it.”

David, 39, earned the chance to race for a medal by finishing fourth in the semi-final with a run of 90.68s, including one touch, but Adam Burgess and Peter Linksted were unable to join him after placing 19th and 28th.

 

Mallory Franklin added a fourth-place finish in the Women’s C1 final to the K1 silver she won on Saturday.


Mallory finished the final in 100.55s with one touch on gate 12, finishing just 0.12s off a second consecutive podium place in Spain this weekend.

A silver medallist in this event at Tokyo 2020, Mallory had shown her speed in the semi-final, qualifying fourth fastest in 104.57s even with six seconds worth of penalties after three gate touches.

After the final, she said: “It probably wasn’t my best run ever, but I was good until two thirds of the way down, I got quite tired and didn’t put the boat in the best place.

“But it’s cool to be so close to the podium after a long weekend. It’s the first time I’ve raced both boats properly in a while but I really enjoyed it.”

 

Team-mate Bethan Forrow clocked 108.27s with three touches to claim eighth place in her first senior World Cup final after navigating a tricky La Seu course that tripped up several top paddlers.

Earlier, she had qualified from the semi-final by taking seventh spot with an impressive run of 108.02s, despite picking up four seconds worth of penalties, and Beth will take plenty of confidence into the World Cup in Pau next weekend.

“I was super nervous before, but I just tried to enjoy the experience and appreciate the opportunity I had to be in the final on a super tough course,” said the 20-year-old.

“I was just happy to have put down a run that, although it was touchy, was still pretty fast and I was still in the game until the end.

“I think it’s going to boost my confidence and it will be something that I can take on to other races.”

 

Kimberley Woods was very unlucky to miss out on the women’s C1 final after looking like she had also made it through until a retrospective 50-second penalty following a review on gate 19 denied her a spot.

But Kimberley’s luck improved later on Sunday as she put together a strong couple of races to make the semi-finals on her first time competing in the new and exciting Extreme Slalom format before coming unstuck at an upstream gate.

Kimberley said: “It was nice to do something different after a pretty tough weekend overall and I never knew what to expect from it, but it was unfortunate I took it too tight on one of the first up streams in the semi-final.

“It was a lot of fun just to try it and I’m looking forward to going again in [the World Championships in] Bratislava.”

Nikita Setchell, Peter Linksted and Bradley Forbes-Cryans all made the quarter-finals with Fiona Pennie missing out from the heats as the Brits got to grips with the Extreme which will debut at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

 

Mark Ratcliffe, head coach of the canoe slalom team, said: “It’s a new event for us so everybody is learning and a few people did really well to get through.

“Peter made it through a round and Kimberley did really well to make the semi-finals, but we suffered a few collisions which cost us more boats getting through as we showed we had good speed off the start, so just a bit of tactical learning for the athletes.”

After an action-packed Sunday, Mark added: “A superb performance from David and his second medal this year just shows what an athlete he is.

“He’s obviously been in the team for many, many years now and his commitment is second to none so it’s really good to see him get the reward and still show where he can be on the world stage, so absolutely delighted for him.

“It was a really tough course today and a good challenge, Beth did really, really well to put a run down and get into that final when you saw the mistakes that were happening.

“And Mallory was only just outside the medals on this occasion but until the bottom was on par for a quick run so a really solid weekend for her overall.”

 Looking back on the full weekend’s work in Spain, an important building block towards the World Championships, Mark said: “The main aim was to bring the senior team together for the first time this year as a full team and to get that racing exposure.

“In most categories people are just a bit of fine tuning away from a final or a medal which is what these next few weeks are about.”