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World Championship Bronze for Mallory Franklin

Mallory Franklin became World Bronze medallist on the final day of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship at the historic Augsburg Olympic course in Germany.

20220731 03152 Augsburg

When the world had its eyes on the London Olympics in 2012 Games, Mallory was winning her first ever senior international medal here in Augsburg as a junior.

Ten years on and in the final of the Women's C1 yet again, she was fifth off the start gate and demonstrated her characteristic boat speed at the top of the course to put down the fastest split at the first time check. 

She was almost four seconds clear at the second time check but unfortunately for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist, she got caught in the bottom section, picking up a two-second penalty at gate 23. Mallory went into the lead with a time of 117.05 but had to wait for the rest of the field before finding out her final result.

Compatriot Kimberley Woods, who was in her second individual final of the weekend, was next down the tricky course. 

Showing fine form at the top, she was ahead at the time checks until the midpoint and a touch on gate 16 on the unforgiving waters pushed her just off the pace.

Another excellent bottom section though, using the power of the course, she narrowed the margin and finished just 0.69 behind Mallory, in second place with a time of 117.74.

But with the partisan crowd of around 8000 fans cheering her on, Germany’s Andrea Herzog usurped the Brits to go into the top spot despite her own touch on gate 14.

Australia’s Olympic champion Jess Fox was the last paddler down and despite doing one of the only clean runs of the day, she went into second place, pushing Mallory into third and Kimberley into an agonising 4th place.

After a difficult day yesterday Mallory was upbeat with her result.

“To be honest I feel quite lucky. My semi-final run was not the most comfortable, I think I was asking the question too much so I was very fortunate to make the final.

“The final wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I felt very much like I was on the back foot at times, so to scrape a medal with that I’m really happy with it.

“It was so tight between me and Kimberley and I really feel for her, it’s so frustrating to be that close. I know I was capable of a lot more but it’s been a really short and compressed season so it’s felt different doing back to back races so much but I’m really happy to come away with another bronze along with the team one, so I’m happy.”

Kimberley, who goes again in this afternoon’s Extreme Kayak finals, was understandably upset with the fourth place but, a second final and a C1 lifetime best finish for her will be some consolation.

“I didn’t know what any of the other girls did. I just wanted to improve on my semi-final run and I didn’t quite manage that but I’m glad I stuck it out. It’s still a PB for me but I’m upset to get so close to a medal which is what I really wanted today but hats off to the girls who did.”

Adam Burgess has been in fantastic form this season and he eased into the final after a clean and composed semi-final run.

Off fifth in the running order, he looked composed as he navigated the top half of the course. Unfortunately, a costly mistake in the middle meant he picked up a penalty and put himself out of contention for medals.

He said: “I did some of the best paddling I’ve done all year in that one run. Obviously, I made a massively costly error there in the middle and that’s it, that’s canoe slalom.  I’m pretty gutted, I had it in me today to win this. I really, really felt like I did and that’s one that’s got away I think.

“We’ve still got two world cups still to go this season and the event at Lee Valley that I’m really looking forward to. I’m keen to get a marker down there and show the world that I’ll be hard to beat on my home World’s next year.

“Since the Olympic Games I’ve made two World Championships finals and it is my natural speed and my ability to race under pressure that’s doing it but there’s something very small keeping me off the top step but we’re so close, it’s coming.”

It wasn’t to be for CR Cats’ Sophie Ogilvie in the Women’s C1 semi-final. Unfortunately a couple of early touches at the top of the course meant she had it all to fight for but ultimately she finished in 25th place overall.

Ryan Westley was eighth off in the men’s semi-final and powered through the top section, ahead at the first split.

But a touch on gate 7 and a paddle back at gate 21 meant he had a nervous wait for the remaining 22 competitors to go.

Unfortunately with 8 boats left on the running order, Ryan dropped into 11th place and he finished in 15th place overall.

Day Five results:

Women's C1 Final 

Mallory Franklin (Windsor) - 3rd

Kimberley Woods (Rugby) - 4th

Men's C1 Final

Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone) 8th

Women's C1 semi-final

Kimberley Woods (Rugby) 5th in semi-final, progressed to final

Mallory Franklin (Windsor) 6th in semi-final, progressed to final

Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) 25th in semi-final

Men's C1 semi-final

Ryan Westley (Lower Wharf) - 15th

Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone) - 6th, progressed to final