Mallory Franklin stormed to silver in the women’s K1 on day two of the Canoe Slalom World Cup in La Seu, Spain.
Paddling last, she recovered from an early touch on gate six to put down a run of 93.58s which was enough to take second behind Australian Jessica Fox who broke the 90-second barrier to take top spot.
“It was good, it was a tough course so it was hard to keep it all running and I had a few troubles at the top,” said Mallory, who made it a triumphant return to competing in the kayak after winning C1 silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“But I got back on it and was able to deliver something good enough to medal which was really cool.
“I didn’t know what I had to beat but I just wanted to put a run down from that point [of the penalty] and do my best when I could so it was mostly trying to stay focused on what was coming.”
Mallory booked her spot in the final after qualifying fastest from the semi-final courtesy of a fantastic clean run of 92.63 seconds.
Unfortunately, team-mates Fiona Pennie and Kimberley Woods missed out on making the final alongside her, finishing 24th and 25th respectively.
And on a tricky course, Mallory explained she was relieved to get through the day’s first hurdle.
“I was really nervous about the course, there was a lot in it, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to deliver it, but I knew everyone was in the same situation,” she added.
“When I went into my semi-final I just did my best the whole way down and popped out a good time which is really nice to see, I just wanted to deliver what I knew I could.”
In the men’s K1 semi-final, Chris Bowers missed out on the top ten and a place in the final by just eight hundredths of a second.
A great error-free run of 86.49s saw him place 12th with 2016 Olympic Champion Joe Clarke in 17th and Bradley Forbes-Cryans, who took sixth place in Tokyo, in 21st spot as both picked up a two-second penalty for a touch.
The Extreme Slalom got underway on Saturday afternoon with a hat-trick of British women not only making it into Sunday’s heats but also qualifying in the top five from the time trial.
Under-23 Extreme world champion Nikita Setchell was second fastest overall with a run of 53.51s, very closely followed by Fiona Pennie who was just one hundredth of a second slower while Kimberley Woods finished fifth in 54.82s.
Mallory Franklin was the unfortunate one to miss out after clocking 58.12s, ranking her 20th overall in the event which will make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024.
In the men’s race, Bradley Forbes-Cryans qualified from 14th in 50.36s and he will be joined in tomorrow’s heats by Peter Linksted after a run of 51.69s saw him finish 20th.
Joe Clarke was just three places further back after putting together a run of 52.42s and along with Jake Brown, who clocked 53.90s to leave him 30th overall, was unlucky not to progress.
Speaking at the conclusion of the time trials, canoe slalom head coach Mark Ratcliffe said: “It was the first outing for a lot of our team but we qualified five through in the end which is pretty good.
“It was a bit different to the others as we had a full team with four in each category and it was a better attended event than they’ve been so it’s starting to be more of a reflection of where people are at.”
On the day as a whole, Mark added: “Mallory has not done kayak for a while so I think even she would’ve found it hard to know where she was at but it just shows all the training she has done and she’s not lost that in kayak.
“She was really close to Jess and it’s a high level. The other guys were close and had a lot of good moments in the runs, so promising signs and it will be good preparation for the worlds for those guys.”