Clarke and Franklin deliver British canoe slalom golden double

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.

Great Britain Mallory Franklin C1 women Lee Valley 2019

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.

RESULTS

WOMEN’S C1

  1. FRANKLIN Mallory  (GBR) 106.82 (0 penalties)
  2. WOODS Kimberley (GBR) 107.45 (0)
  3. FOX Jessica              (AUS)  113.62 (4)

MEN’S K1

  1. CLARKE Joseph      (GBR)   90.35 (0)
  2. PRSKAVEC Jiri         (CZE)   91.21  (0)
  3. AIGNER Hannes     (GER)  92.04   (0)

Great Britain Joe Clarke Lee Valley 2019

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