Team GB announces canoeing team for Tokyo 2020

Reigning Olympic champion Liam Heath heads the list of five canoeing athletes named by the British Olympic Association (BOA) for Tokyo 2020.

Liam will compete at his third Olympic Games having won sprint bronze in the K2 200m alongside Jon Schofield in London and then silver in Rio before being crowned Olympic champion in the K1 200m. 

He held the grand slam in 2017 (Olympic, World and European titles) and has been unbeaten in the K1 200m since then. Liam will be looking to retain his title and cement his place as the most successful British canoe sprint athlete of all time. Liam is joined by four canoe slalom athletes, who will all make their Olympic debuts in Japan.

Mallory Franklin will race in the women’s canoe single (C1) class, the first time this event has been included in an Olympic Games. She has made a meteoric rise through the sport, winning a record eight individual international medals in 2018 alone, to become Great Britain’s most successful female paddler. World Champion in 2017, this year she won her first senior European crown, followed by World Cup gold on her home course at Lee Valley.

Kimberley Woods will take the seat in the women’s kayak single (K1) to finally realise her Olympic dream, having had her first insight as a member of the Team GB Ambition Programme at Rio 2016. Woods is a World Cup medallist in this event and in 2018, was a World Championship bronze medallist. She recorded her highest finish at the senior World Championships two weeks ago coming sixth, to claim her 2020 Olympic spot. 

In the men’s kayak single (K1), Bradley Forbes-Cryans put down the run of his life at the World Championships last month, to finish just off the podium in fourth place and secure his Tokyo berth, beating some of the world’s biggest names in the process. Forbes-Cryans is a World Cup silver medallist and won silver at the U23 World Championships last year. 

Completing the canoe slalom quartet is Adam Burgess in the men’s canoe single (C1). Great Britain’s first ever C1 U23 World Champion in 2015, Burgess has been growing in stature over the last few years becoming the 2018 European Championship silver medallist and a World Cup silver medallist this year. 

For canoe sprint there is a further opportunity to qualify additional Olympic quota places at second round qualification next May.

Paul Ratcliffe, British Canoeing Performance Director, said:

“We are delighted to be announcing the first canoeing members of Team GB today. We have gone through a very tough selection process over the last six months and we have now selected a strong team capable of delivering on the Olympic stage and contributing to the overall success of Team GB.”