Great Britain continued their successful 2018 World Cup series after Joe Clarke and David Florence both picked up gold medals during World Cup 2 in Krakow, Poland. (29 June – 1 July)
British Canoeing athletes picked up three medals just a week before at World Cup 1 (22-24 June). Twelve British boats took on Krakow’s competitive course to keep their successful 2018 season going in World Cup 2.
They certainly did not disappoint, with a number of athletes qualifying through to their final with some strong showings across the three days in some ever-changing conditions.
Florence back amongst the medals at World Cup 2
Winning his first World Cup medal since 2015, David Florence proved that he’s still a world force. He topped the World Cup 2 podium by taking gold in the men’s canoe single (C1) on the Saturday.
The Scottish athlete eased through the heats before posting a storming time in the semi-finals to top the leader board, meaning he would be the last athlete of ten to take on the final run.
David showed his wealth of experience to keep his cool and once again post the fastest time in what was an incredibly tight final, with just 0.93 seconds separating himself and fellow Brit Ryan Westley in sixth place.
On winning his first World Cup medal in three years, the 35-year-old said:
“I am incredibly pleased to be back on the podium and a bit relieved. I have felt like I have paddled so well in recent times but just not got the rewards.
“The guys in Britain are so strong now that winning selection in itself was a great achievement, but winning the semi-finals at Europeans and coming away with nothing and then missing the final at the first World Cup last week was pretty disappointing.
“To be right up there and win the semi-final, it would have been tough to come away with nothing. I put in a great run and to actually win the race makes me very, very happy.”
Clarke continues fine 2018 form with gold
Joining David at the top of the podium was Olympic Champion Joe Clarke, who followed his bronze medal at World Cup 1 last weekend with his first ever World Cup gold in the K1 event.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Champion is showing his form from two years ago once again after a good winter training period.
Unlike David, the 24-year-old was one of the first athletes to take on the course in the final and despite the deteriorating wet conditions, posted a dominating, clean, fast run leaving the rest of the chasing pack with a task of ousting Joe off top spot.
Delighted at winning World Cup 2, Joe said:
“It’s good to be back. I felt good coming into the European’s but it didn’t quite happen there, but the last two weekends have been great.
“I am back on top of the podium again and it was the same top three as Rio.
“I was last off in the semi-final and second off in the final, which meant I had a pretty short turn around, but I just went out there and put down a run that I knew was really good and then had a long nervous wait, rather than a short one.
“I was pretty sure it would be a podium spot and particularly once I saw the other top splits coming through with nobody managing to get within half a second of my time.”
Joe, David and the rest of the British Canoeing team will continue the World Cup series in Augsburg, Germany on 6 July.
Don’t miss Joe, David and the Great Britain slalom team prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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