Olympic medallists Joe Clarke MBE and Mallory Franklin, alongside 2023 World Champion Kimberley Woods and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Adam Burgess, are the first canoeing athletes selected by the British Olympic Association (BOA) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist and four-time World Champion Joe Clarke returns to Team GB and will contest the men’s kayak single (K1), the event in which he won gold seven years ago. He will also be competing in the thrilling new Olympic event kayak cross, which is set to make its Games debut in Paris next year.
Joe heads into next year’s Games as World Champion in both events, after culminating his most successful ever season with double gold in front of a home crowd at the 2023 World Championships, achieving eight medals across the season in total.
He said: “I can’t wait for Paris and I’m delighted to be selected for the Games. Obviously, I missed out on Tokyo and to go again eight years later is great. I’m a completely different athlete now.
I won the Olympics once, I really want to go out next year and do the double this time round with two opportunities to win medals. This is the main driver right now, I’m very excited and there are a lot of hard weeks ahead, but we know what we are working towards.– Joe Clarke
“It’s special heading as reigning World Champion. It adds a target to my back, but I have high expectations of myself so very excited.”
The squad also boasts 2023 C1 World Champion Mallory Franklin who made history in Tokyo, as she prepares to race the women’s canoe single (C1) and women’s kayak cross.
Great Britain’s most successful canoeist, Mallory became an Olympic silver medallist in the inaugural women’s canoe event on her Games debut, and has continued to shine on the international stage since Tokyo, winning a total of 11 medals in 2022 and a further seven during 2023, including her second women’s canoe World Championship title won at Lee Valley in September.
I’m delighted to be selected to TeamGB for the second time. I knew I was in a strong position coming into the year. To be going again in C1 as World Champion and the opportunity to win another medal is really exciting.– Mallory Franklin
“Having two medal opportunities with the kayak cross is great. I really want to commit to the event over the winter and try and win two medals in Paris next year.
“Medalling in every World Championships since Tokyo gives me some added confidence ahead of Paris. I really want to enjoy the experience. It will be a different experience to Tokyo with the crowd and atmosphere. I will embrace it.”
Tokyo Olympian and 2023 Kayak Cross World Champion Kimberley Woods will be doubling up in Paris, contesting both the women’s kayak single (K1) and the kayak cross.
Kimberley won eight medals during the 2023 season, including four at the home World Championships at the London 2012 Olympic venue. The 28-year-old became World Champion for the first time as she powered to kayak cross gold in front of a roaring crowd, as well as winning women’s canoe silver at the same event.
I’m really excited to be a part of Team GB again for Paris 2024. Some people don’t get to go to one Olympics so I feel very fortunate to be going to my second Games.– Kimberley Woods
“It’s not just the one class this time I’ll be racing, I have two events so twice the opportunity to win a medal. Being World Champion and world number one has never happened to me before. I really want to build on that leading into Paris."
Completing the team will be Tokyo 2020 finalist and C1 team world silver medallist Adam Burgess who is returning for his second consecutive Games in the men’s canoe single (C1)
Burgess competed in his first Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he just missed out on a medal, finishing just 0.16 seconds away in fourth place. Great Britain’s first ever C1 U23 World Champion in 2015, Burgess won bronze at the 2022 World Cup in Krakow and showed fantastic consistency to make the men’s C1 final on seven consecutive occasions in 2023.
“I’m so excited to be racing in Paris next year. It’s one thing making it to the Olympics once, but to be a two-time Olympian is fantastic.
Fourth last time round is unfinished business for me. I’m really grateful I have an opportunity to do better.– Adam Burgess
“I felt a bit of pressure to make the Games again this time as my family weren’t able to go last time and just excited for the opportunity for them too.
“Since Tokyo, I really established myself as one of the top athletes there. I haven’t won enough medals since, but this season has highlighted what I need to do to make the next step and I’m confident I can do that for Paris next summer.”
Mark Ratcliffe, Team GB Team Leader and Performance Director for Canoe Slalom said:
“We have an exceptionally strong team going to Paris next and it’s really pleasing after a long journey to get to this point.
“We have medal potential in every event. There’re more opportunities in Paris with kayak cross making its first Games appearance and we’ve selected four really strong boats for next year as we look to compete in every single event.
“All four of them have performed exceptionally well to get selected for Paris 2024, but everyone will need to work really hard to be competitive next year and the journey starts now.”
Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Paris 2024, said:
“I am delighted to welcome back to Team GB all four athletes selected today. They have shown they know how to medal on the world stage, and with addition of the new thrilling discipline of kayak cross, which we will compete in, there is much to look forward to next summer in Paris.”
The selected canoeists are:
Mallory Franklin (Windsor, Berkshire): Women’s Canoe Single (C1) & Women’s Kayak Cross
Kimberley Woods (Rugby / West Midlands): Women’s Kayak Single (K1) & Women’s Kayak Cross
Adam Burgess (Stone, Staffordshire): Men’s Canoe Single (C1)
Joe Clarke (Stone, Staffordshire): Men’s Kayak Single (K1) & Men’s Kayak Cross