Sweltering conditions and a tough course saw a mix of results for the British Canoe Slalom team on the first day of racing at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup 2 in Markkleeberg, Germany.
All nine British athletes were racing on the first day for the heats of both the kayak and the canoe events.
Joe Clarke and Bradley Forbes-Cryans dominated the men's kayak event this morning finishing the first run in first and second place respectively.
Both men posted clean runs down the technical course which saw some international heavyweights forced to go again or even miss out on semi-final progression.
Joe, who clocked 90.95 for the fastest time of the day, was pleased to put down a clean run as he looked to repeat the positive runs in Prague last weekend.
He said: “I’m just looking to build on these clean runs throughout the weekend.
“I know the boat speed is there, I’ve proven that but I want to keep building through the rounds and maintain clean runs at pace.”
Tokyo-bound Bradley Forbes-Cryans of CR Cats finished in second place in 92.33, comfortably booking his spot in the semi-finals.
He was really happy with his race this morning, having worked on elements he felt let him down last weekend in Prague.
“I struggled in the first round last weekend, and while I had some good paddling in the second run, I’ve been working on certain elements in training and it’s really paid off today.
“I’m really happy with the race this morning, it was really technical and I’m looking forward to going again tomorrow.”
Chris Bowers needed a second run to qualify his semi-final place. After initially leading at the split in the first run, he picked up a 50 at gate 21 on the tricky course. Chris bounced back for the second run finishing in 96.65 to book his place in the semi-final which takes place tomorrow morning.
Mallory Franklin also finished top of the table, this time in the women’s C1 heats. A clean run in 110.09 saw the Tokyo-bound athlete once again lead the charge after the first run.
“It was a nice solid run I think, it’s a really tough course, which shows with the results that are coming out, so I’m glad that I was able to hold it together,” she said.
“It’s always nice to come out on top although there are definitely some things I still need to work on.
“It still feels strange to race twice in a day as I haven’t really done it much since 2018 but getting on the start lines and having an adaptive mindset I hope will help me to deliver as close to optimal as possible.”
Sophie Ogilvie put in a really gutsy second run to book her spot in Sunday’s C1 semi-final. Having missed out on the first run, Sophie had an early touch and paddle back at the top of the course and she had to dig deep to earn her place.
She ultimately finished in tenth in the second run so she will join Mallory on Sunday morning after the Extreme Slalom time trials tomorrow night.
Mallory was also in action in the women’s kayak along with compatriot Kimberley Woods.
Both women picked up a couple of touches apiece but safely secured their semi-final spots with solid performances in race one of the heats.
They finished in fifth and sixth places in 104.79 and 104.87 respectively in the first round which was won by Ricarda Funk.
Kimberley was pleased with her progress as she looks towards her debut Olympics next month.
“It’s a really difficult course and it gets harder the further down you go so I didn’t want to do anything special but just keep the boat running to qualify for the semi-finals.
“I’m still to get a clean run this year but I'm still up there with the boat speed which is really pleasing.
“The more runs I do, the more confidence I gain. Even with the touches it’s positive that I’m still in the mix.”
Unfortunately for Fiona Pennie it wasn’t to be. An early touch on gate six followed by trouble in the mid-section meant she had to go again for a second run. But even a clean run down wasn't quite enough and she will go again in the Extreme Slalom tomorrow - the event she silver medalled in last weekend.
And finally in the men’s C1, David Florence looked comfortable in his first run down to finish in 12th to qualify his semi-final place at the first time of asking.
The three-time Olympic silver medallist, who was back on the podium in Prague last weekend, was happy with his performance which sees him safely through to Sunday.
“It’s a pretty hard course,” he said: “I took some of the more conservative options over speed today as it's all about getting through to the next round.
“I’m just taking it one step at a time. It was great to have some solid runs last weekend and today and I’m just looking to paddle well each round.”
There was a blow for Adam Burgess who will be making his Olympic debut next month.
A strong start in the first run saw him almost a second and a half up on the first split before getting caught in the tricky midsection. A paddle back up the course left him just off the pace and forced to race again.
And it just wasn’t to be for the Stafford and Stone man in his second run, picking up a couple of touches and ultimately finishing in 17th place.
Tomorrow will see the semi-finals and finals of the women’s and men’s kayak events, followed by the time trials for the Extreme Slalom.
All the action can be followed live on the links below:
Live stream: https://www.canoeicf.com/
Women’s K1 semi-finals - Top 30 from heats qualify
0848 Mallory Franklin (Windsor)
0850 Kimberley Woods (Rugby)
Men’s K1 Semi-finals – Top 40 from heats qualify
0913 Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone)
1021 Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats)
1023 Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone)
1103 Women’s K1 Final
1140 Men’s K1 Final
Women’s Extreme Slalom Time Trials
1434 – Fiona Pennie (CR Cats)
1448 – Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats)
Men’s Extreme Slalom Time Trials
1512 – Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone)
1513 - Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone)
Results from Day One:
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – K1 Heats 5th in the first 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals - 104.79
Mallory Franklin (Windsor and District) - K1 Heats 6th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals - 104.87
Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) 34th in the first run 123.96 and 12th in the second run 115.38.
Joe Clarke MBE (Stafford & Stone) – K1 Heats 1st in the first run 90.95 and qualifies for the semi-finals
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) – K1 Heats 2nd in the first run 92.33 and qualifies for the semi-finals
Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone) – K1 Heats 44th in the first run 144.68 / 6th in the second run 96.65 and qualifies for the semi-finals
Mallory Franklin (Windsor and District) - C1 Heats 1st the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals - 110.09
Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) – C1 Heats 32nd in the first run 168.69 / 10th in the second run 126.64 and qualifies for the semi-final
David Florence – C1 heats 12th in the first run in 101.37 and qualifies for the semi-finals
Adam Burgess – C1 heats 27th in the first run 105.88 / 17th in the second run 109.05.