British slalom trio, Joe Clarke, Mallory Franklin and Ryan Westley were all on the podium after another successful international outing, at the 2018 World Cup 1 in Liptovsky.
The 2018 ICF Slalom World Cup season commenced in Liptovsky Mikulas over the weekend (22-24 June), with 11 British boats taking on the Slovakian course.
After a confident opening day where ten boats qualified for the semi-finals, C1M European Champion Ryan Westley followed up his fine 2018 form into the Saturday, when he picked up a well-deserved bronze medal and Britain’s first of the weekend.
The Exeter born paddler made a fantastic recovery after uncharacteristically hitting the second post during the final run, holding his nerve to cross the line in an extremely quick time to take up a place on the podium.
Speaking on his performance and medal, Ryan said:
“I was sitting on the start line thinking about getting off to a nice steady start and when you’re fresh at the top it’s normally quite easy to get the gates right.
“But then I made a mistake. A touch obviously changes your approach slightly but I always want to deliver the run the best I can.
“There’s no point going crazy but equally there’s not a lot of point playing it super safe to the finish.
“I was thinking even if I pick up a fifth it’s a nice world ranking point. So when I crossed the line and saw I’d managed to sneak onto the podium I was really happy.”
Joining Ryan amongst the medals were Olympic Champion Joe Clarke and World Champion Mallory Franklin, who both put in competitive runs on the final day of World Cup 1.
Clarke back amongst the medals
Joe Clarke claimed bronze in the K1M final, his first international medal since his dramatic triumph at the Olympics in Rio, putting in one of only three penalty-free runs during the final.
Despite doing enough at the time to put himself into second place, Joe had a nervous wait with five more athletes still to take on the course.
Only one bettered his time, getting him back on the podium with a bronze medal.
The Olympic Champion said:
“I’d done a run I was satisfied with and I’d certainly performed a lot better than I had at the Europeans in Prague, and I knew there was plenty of time in it still.
“I had a nervous wait, very similar to the one I had at the Olympics because I had to again wait for Jiri, the same paddler, to come down and decide my fate.”
Franklin follows up European silver with World Cup 1 bronze
C1W World Champion Mallory Franklin followed up her C1 silver medal at the European Championships in Prague with a bronze medal in the same event this time in Slovakia.
Mallory put in a very fast time in the final, but four seconds worth of penalties cost the Windsor athlete a silver medal, putting her in the bronze position.
Her final run just edged out fellow British athlete Kimberley Woods a place on the podium.
“I had a few very slight touches which wasn’t ideal but it’s nice to be back on the podium,”
“But I’m enjoying it which is the main thing for me. All I want to get from my paddling is to enjoy every time I sit on the start line and every time I get in my boat.”
Ryan, Joe and Mallory now head to Krakow, Poland with the rest of the British Canoeing team as they continue the World Cup series on 29 June.
Don’t miss the Ryan, Joe, Mallory and the Great Britain slalom team prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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