2019 ICF Slalom World Cup 1, Lee Valley (Uk) – Report, Results, Videos
By: Ross Solly
Mallory Franklin with two wins over the week end (K1 & C1) steals the show, while Sideris Tasiadiris (C1 men) and Joe Clarke (K1 men) secure top positions.
Saturday June 15th
C1 men & K1 women finals
Tasiadis and Franklin strike early Olympic blow
Germany’s Sideris Tasiadis and Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin struck important blows in their quest for Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection with impressive ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup wins at Lee Valley, England, on Saturday.
For Tasiadis it is the third year in succession he has won C1 gold at the opening world cup, while it was Franklin’s first world cup gold.
Both athletes are in tight battles for Olympic selection for their countries, with Tasiadis up against current world champion, Franz Anton, while Franklin is in a three-way tussle with two-time Olympian Fiona Pennie and 21-year-old Kimberley Woods.
“I didn’t feel so much pressure in the final, I just said to myself to keep my line and make my own race, and see what happens,” Tasiadis said.
“I knew that I had to go fast to beat the British guys, and if I did that, Franz would have to go faster.”
Tasiadis finished ahead of British duo Adam Burgess and Ryan Westley, with Anton, who qualified fastest for the final, finishing eighth.
Franklin bounced back from a disappointing qualifying performance to deliver an almost perfect run in the women’s K1 final, posting the only time under 100 seconds and finishing more than two seconds ahead of Germany’s Ricarda Funk.
“Yesterday I struggled quite a bit mentally with my racing, not quite putting down the runs that I liked, but I had two good runs today and I’m really happy to have shown that form, especially in a home world cup,” Franklin said.
“I don’t have many world cup gold medals, I keep coming second behind Jess (Fox). I was quite nervous, there’s kind of the appreciation for me that I’ve never been an athlete focussed on the Games.”
Three-time world champion Jessica Fox once again ran into difficulties on the challenging Lee Valley course, but the Australian was still good enough to finish third.
The opening ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup continues at Lee Valley on Sunday, with finals in the men’s K1 and the women’s C1.
1. TASIADIS Sideris (GER) 94.63 (0 penalties)
2. BURGESS Adam (GBR) 94.70 (0)
3. WESTLEY Ryan (GBR) 95.07 (0)
1. FRANKLIN Mallory (GBR) 99.42 (0)
2. FUNK Ricarda (GER) 101.86 (0)
3. FOX Jessica (AUS) 105.39 (2)
Sunday June 16th
C1 men & K1 women finals
Clarke and Franklin provide British golden double at canoe slalom world cup
Mallory Franklin completed a golden double and teammate Joe Clarke won the men’s K1 final on a triumphant day for British canoe slalom in front of an enthusiastic home crowd at Lee Valley on Sunday.
Franklin added the C1 title to her K1 win from 24 hours earlier, while Clarke overcame some mid-race difficulties to win the men’s K1 at the opening ICF canoe slalom world cup of the 2019 season.
The wins were also important for both athletes in their pursuit of British Olympic selection for Tokyo 2020. Franklin had to dig deep in her final after teammate Kimberley Woods posted a fault-free 107.45.
Franklin also raced without penalties to record a time of 106.82.
“It’s not my ideal, going off last in the final,” Franklin said.
“It’s hard for me to put to bed all the different results, and you see the kind of run that Kim put down, I’ve put quite a bit of work into trying to quieten that and focus on my own results.
“At the end of the day I paddle because I enjoy it, so that’s what I try and focus on.”
World champion Jessica Fox had a rare defeat, picking up two gate touches to finish third in 113.62.
Olympic champion Clarke is one step closer to defending his gold in Tokyo next year with another strong result on Sunday.
26-year-old Clarke was the last paddler on the Lee Valley course, and despite running into slight trouble in the middle of his run, was still quick enough to win gold in 90.35. He has now won two of the British Olympic selection races to give him one foot on the plane to Tokyo.
“It’s the elephant in the room, the Olympic selection races, but I’ve got the win, I’ve also got the world cup win, which is huge, and in front of a home crowd, which is even bigger,” Clarke said.
“Last time I raced here was the 2015 worlds, and I left here disappointed, so to have a home win puts that behind me.
“If I’m honest I’ve had a bit of a shoulder injury, and I haven’t really gotten over it. I had a bit of pain coming into the race, so I’ve got a few days off, and then I’ll head to Tacen and try and get a result there.”
Czech Jiri Prskavec finished second in 91.21, with Germany’s reigning world champion, Hannes Aigner, third in 92.04.
1. FRANKLIN Mallory (GBR) 106.82 (0 penalties)
2. WOODS Kimberley (GBR) 107.45 (0)
3. FOX Jessica (AUS) 113.62 (4)
1. CLARKE Joseph (GBR) 90.35 (0)
2. PRSKAVEC Jiri (CZE) 91.21 (0)
3. AIGNER Hannes (GER) 92.04 (0)
More info on the ICF Slalom World Cup 2019 upcoming events go to canoeicf.com