08:00AM, Friday 14 May 2021
Windsor’s Mallory Franklin had to show great perseverance to battle back for sixth place at the Canoe Slalom European Championships in Ivrea, Italy, this weekend after flipping her boat over in a challenging semi-final run.
She qualified comfortably for the semi-finals of the women’s C1 event, finishing behind teammate Kimberley Woods who qualified in top spot.
The Tokyo-bound athlete was looking an outside bet to make the final when she flipped her boat at gate 21, however, she quickly managed to get herself upright and squeezed through to the afternoon’s final in ninth place.
Second down the course in the final, Mallory once again delivered an effective run, despite earning time penalties for clips on the problematic gate three and gate 17. She also had to paddle back to make it through gates 14 and 15 but crossed the finish line in 112.34, putting her down in sixth place.
Reflecting on what she took from her first competitive international race in 19 months, Mallory said: ““There were some good bits in my runs, but I wasn’t able to put a full run together today. I was proud of myself. The mistake I made in my first run I managed to rectify in my final.
“I think a lot of how we train is adaptability and getting yourself out of situations as soon as possible and I was proud of myself for getting the run complete and pleased with my pace to afford that, but I would’ve like to have put down a strong run instead.
“There are definitely things I can learn from this weekend. I will get back home and put myself in a good place ahead of the next World Cup in Prague.”
Head Coach Mark Ratcliffe said he saw the European Championships as a positive experience for the canoe slalom team as they gear up for the season ahead, despite Team GB not managing to claim a podium place.
He said: “It’s certainly been a positive week out in Ivrea. It’s obviously our first race in over 18 months with the team desperate to get back on the start line again. Most of them have had to learn a new course, they adapted well.
“We have had a number of good runs across the weekend, lots of top fives across the heats, semi-finals and finals. We have had a good number of finals, not quite with an individual medal but close.”
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