Britain’s David Florence and Joe Clarke started 2019 off in an impressive fashion, both claiming victories at the Australian Open in the C1 and K1 men’s respectively.
Having spent some time in Australia ahead of the competition, Florence and Clarke were in fine form, posting some unbeatable times in the final.
In the men’s C1, three-time Olympic silver medallist David Florence won the final with an excellent time of 95.11 despite a two-second penalty, 1.59 seconds quicker than France’s Martin Thomas.
Having progressed into the final in fifth place before ultimately winning the event, Florence was pleased with his runs and beat such a strong field.
“For me coming here was to do a race and to start getting back into that mode and that it went so well straight-off is perfect. To win is the ultimate and I was very pleased with that. There’s such a strong field and so many of the top guys are over here training and it was like World Cup standard.”
Adam Burgess too made the final of the C1 men’s finishing seventh in what was a hotly contested field and only five seconds off Florence with a two second penalty.
Elsewhere, Olympic Champion Joe Clarke put in a storming time in the semi-final to qualify through to the final in first, where he ultimately claimed the victory with another fantastic run with a time of 87.50.
He was closely followed by Australia’s Lucien Delfour in close second and +0.06 seconds behind. Germany’s Sebastian Schubert took home the bronze medal with 88.63.
Speaking after the competition, Joe is pleased with is early season form;
“It’s only February, but it’s great to see where you are at this early in the season. Obviously, the season hasn’t really officially started, it will be around May for us Europeans, but it’s always nice to get on the start line and give what you’ve got.”
Bradley Forbes-Cryans finished 13th in the semi-final and only split seconds off qualifying for the final after a clean run.
In the women’s C1, Eilidh Gibson claimed a seventh place finish in Sunday’s final after a two second penalty put the podium spots out of reach. An excellent top five finish in the semi-finals shows the CR Cats is finding some good runs early season.
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