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Senior slalom selection concludes after thrilling day of racing

Britain’s best slalom paddlers returned for a second day of action at the 2021 Senior Canoe Slalom & Extreme Slalom Selection with a series of strong racing on show at Lee Valley White Water Centre.

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Photo: Kim Jones

With four senior team places still up for grabs ahead of the upcoming World Cups and World Championships, the day involved a further two runs per athlete in each event, with their top three results across the weekend counting towards that final selection.

 

Tokyo silver medallist Mallory Franklin went into the second day of racing in a strong position having notched up two race wins on day one of selection. as she looked to secure that final women’s K1 place available.

The Windsor & District athlete used her fine form to claim a third heats win in round three, posting a storming time of 94.60, putting Mallory in a good place for selection alongside her already secured C1 spot.

Her clean run was over eight seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, U23 athlete Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dŵr). Megan did back her promising run up with a victory in round four, her time of 101.66 over a second ahead of Mallory.

Amber Maslen (Independent) and Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley) both claimed a third place finish each during the day.

 

The men’s K1 rounds continued to show how stacked the event is amongst the British paddlers, with David Paterson (Manchester) winning round three, meaning three different athletes had taken round wins at this point.

Stafford and Stone athlete Chris Bowers claimed another second place to follow up his first and second from the day before, whilst Jonny Dickson (CR Cats) put down the quickest raw time, but two touches put him down in third.

Chris Bowers was back on top form for the final run with his fourth run of 86.62 enough to put him top of the field and in strong contention for a senior team place once again. Ben Haylett (Holme Pierrepont) too showed the speed he delivered on day one with another second place finish.

 

Although he is pre-selected for the remainder of the season given his Olympic reserve spot, David Florence (Lloyds Register) achieved a further two races wins to give the Scottish athlete a full house of victories across the weekend.

With David’s performances not going towards the selection, Peter Linksted (Independent) finished top of those going for selection for a second time across the weekend, delivering a clean run of 95.98 to put him a good position for the senior team spot. 

It was James Kettle (Lee Valley) who was next behind Florence in heat four, his time of 98.18 enough to secure him his second top three finish of the weekend.

 

The weekend rounded off with thrilling displays in the women’s C1, with Bethan Forrow and Ellis Miller (Lee Valley) both securing a top place finish each on the second day. The pair both finished on two races win each in the search of that final place, as they look to join Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods for the remainder of the senior season.

Eilidh Gibson (Strathallan) put down two quick runs during the day to claim two second placed finishes, whilst Phoebe Spicer (Lee Valley) came third on both occasions to cap off the weekend of canoe slalom racing.

Elsewhere, U23 Extreme Slalom World Champion Nikita Setchell staked a claim for a spot on the senior team for the 2021 season, with a place available for both the men’s and women’s event.

The Holme Pierrepont athlete putdown the speed she showed in Tacen earlier this season, to win the round in a time of 49.39, ahead of Megan Hamer-Evans.

Jake Brown delivered the quickest time in the men’s event, finishing in 48.33 and narrowly ahead of Ben Haylett with just 0.28 seconds separating the pair.

Full results of the weekend can be found here.