Slalom team announced after selection weekend

The canoe slalom team, which will represent Great Britain for the upcoming international season, has now been confirmed following a weekend of intensely competitive racing at Lee Valley White Water Centre over the Easter weekend.

As well as a place on the British team for the 2019 canoe slalom racing season, it was also the first of three selection events which will eventually determine the paddlers who will compete for Team GB at Tokyo 2020.  In a field stacked with international medallists, the racing was world class across all the events.

Olympic gold medallist Joe Clarke gave himself the best start to his Tokyo 2020 campaign by claiming maximum points after winning two of the three K1M races over the weekend, with Scotsman Bradley Forbes-Cryans of CR Cats pushing the Stafford and Stone athlete all the way.  The duo were on equal points going into the final day but it was the reigning Olympic champion who sealed the deal after a blistering last run.

Clarke’s Stafford and Stone Canoe Club mate, Chris Bowers takes up the third spot.

It was nice to finish the selection series on a win, 60 points couldn’t be beaten, so I’m really happy and relieved. It is great to have such strength in depth in the K1 men’s field with myself, Chris Bowers and Bradley Forbes-Cryans all pushing each other to get the best out of each other.

Joe Clarke

There were two places up for grabs in both the C1W and K1W events after Mallory Franklin earned her pre-selection with two silver medals at the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.

But with crucial Olympic selection points also available, Franklin came out in fine form to consolidate her top spot in the C1W, winning the first two of the three races.

She will be once again be joined by Kimberley Woods (Rugby CC) who, alongside Franklin, was part of the C1W gold medal winning team at the 2018 World Championships. Making her senior team debut after an impressive weekend on the Lee Valley course, CR Cats’ Sophie Ogilvie will occupy the third and final C1W spot.

The final two spots on the K1W team were determined on the final race of the event, with a host of athletes in the mix, but in a race that literally could not be closer, a joint first place for Kimberley Woods and Fiona Pennie (CR Cats) confirmed their places once again on the GB team.

I am really happy that I finished kayak off with a really good run. I am glad that I put in a good run today and have made the team. Coming out with two wins in kayak, I am very pleased going into the season that I know what I need to work on and I am looking forward to taking on the European Championship in a few weeks’ time.

Kimberley Woods

With Ryan Westley pre-selected following his silver medal at the 2018 World Championships there were just two spots remaining for the C1M to claim.

The experience of three-time Olympic medallist David Florence (Lloyds Register) showed as he booked one of those berths comfortably, taking maximum points in the first two races of the weekend.  Aiming for his fourth Olympics, this is a record breaking 19th year that Florence has been on the senior slalom team.

The 2018 European silver medallist Adam Burgess eventually came out on top to clinch the third place after being put under immense pressure from the rest of the field.

After securing his place on the final run, Adam said:

I am buzzing to be honest. I have been in the situation quite a few times where I have needed to deliver on the last day and I think the pressure brings out my best so hopefully that will shine through the Olympic selection series as well.

Adam Burgess

“I knew I was more than capable and wanted to just stick to the plan, keep refocussing when I need to and just think about what it would mean to be in the team.”

British Canoeing Canoe Slalom Head Coach, Mark Ratcliffe, said: “We have a fantastic team once again. Everyone has worked super hard to make the spots. I have to say, from those that have made the team there has been some excellent performances and every spot has been fully earned.

“I am really looking forward to the season ahead. There’s a lot of racing to do, culminating at the World Championships and it will all come down to that and we need to qualify our Olympic spots.”

Speaking on the weekend’s racing, British Canoeing Performance Director Paul Ratcliffe added: 

I think we have had an incredible weekend. Incredible for the organisers that have put on such a great event and incredible for our athletes, that have put on such a great show under such intense pressure

Paul Ratcliffe, British Canoeing Performance Director

“We are seeing legacy involved with some of the juniors, strong competition from the U23s and the athletes that have made the team in the seniors, it looks like we are going to have a strong senior team to start pushing for places for the Olympic Games at the end of the season.”

The full International Panel Statement can be found here

The link to the Canoe Slalom Selection Policy can be found here

British Canoeing 2019 international senior slalom team is:

C1 Women

Mallory Franklin  (Windsor & District)

Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats)

Kimberley Woods (Rugby)

C1 Men

Ryan Westley (Lower Wharfe)

David Florence  (Lloyds Register)

Adam Burgess (Stafford & Stone)

K1 Women

Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District)

Fiona Pennie (CR Cats)

Kimberley Woods (Rugby)

 K1 Men

Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone)

Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats)

Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone)