Joe Clarke MBE powered to men’s K1 silver at the second World Cup in Krakow, Poland, continuing his early form in the 2022 series.
Joe’s silver medal is his second of the 2022 World Cups and his first in canoe slalom, having claimed another second place in the extreme slalom last weekend.
With the target of 84.94 to beat, impressively set by Czech paddler Vit Prindis, Joe came charging out the blocks in his trademark fashion, and actually had a 1.43 second advantage on the race leader after the first section.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Champion had to work hard around gate 11, and it was tight going into the final gates, with Joe and Vit close together on time.
A clean exit saw Joe cross the line just 0.16 behind Vit, in a run of 85.10, quicker than the semi-final time he set to qualify earlier in the day.
Joe had a small wait to see whether it was enough to medal, and with Peter Kauzer picking up a late 50 second penalty and Olympic Champion Jiri Prskavec unable to match Joe’s time, it was an impressive silver for the Stafford and Stone paddler.
Delighted with his performance Joe said:
“I’m really happy with my performance today. I’ve followed my processes throughout and put down a really solid semi-final. It was a long wait having to qualify after requiring the second run yesterday. Showing pace in that second round was positive.
“I was confident I was going to make the final after that performance, but you never know. Qualified in third and knew I had more in it, so I was excited to get back out there.
“To come away with second and so close to the gold today was good to show what I am capable of.
It was a nervy wait. Peter and Jiri are incredible paddlers, but with both making time losses it was delighted to remain in that silver position at the end of it.
– Joe Clarke MBE
It’s a course Joe has a good pedigree on, winning gold the last time he competed in Krakow back in 2018.
“I do really enjoy this course. It’s one I would say is fairly similar to that of Lee Valley or Nottingham in which I have spent a lot of time paddling on. The skills are transferable to here which is great.
“You’ve seen lots of fast times from the British team on this course so far and hopefully more to come tomorrow.”
After a flying run in yesterday’s heats, Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) was back on course and looking fast and attacking on the early sections of the course during his semi-final run.
Up on the first split, he was on for a good run, but lost time between gates 16 & 17 gave Bradley a lot to do to progress to the final, finishing 19th in 89.46.
There was strong pace from Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone) during his semi-final run and the 23-year-old was significantly up on both splits with only five paddlers to follow.
However, a touch on gate 19 initially knocked him down to fifth, whilst a late 50 second penalty for missing gate 9 took him out the top 10 required to join Joe in the final.
In the women’s K1, both Kimberley Woods (Rugby) and Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) missed out on the final, with touches taking them outside the top 10.
Kimberley was the first of the Brits to take on the Krakow course, and was within touching distance of the race leader at the first split. Two touches on 16 and 18 added four seconds of penalties to her overall time, leaving Kimberley in 16th with 102.07.
An early touch from Mallory Franklin on gate 2 gave the European bronze medallist work to do to make the final. She looked smooth throughout, but another touch on gate 20 put her down into 24th.
Both Mallory and Kimberley return to canoe slalom action tomorrow as they gear up for the women’s C1 semi-finals.
The afternoon saw the extreme slalom time-trials return, with eight Brits taking to the ramp and a full squad progressing to tomorrow’s heats.
With two extreme medals to her name already this season, Mallory Franklin led the way in the women’s event with all four British women cementing their place in tomorrow’s heats.
Mallory finished the course in 58.60, followed by U23 World Champion Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) in 59.74. Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) and Kimberley Woods were also in touching distance claiming times of 60.04 and 60.55 respectively to book their spot.
In the men’s event, fresh from his silver medal, Joe Clarke went on to continue his extreme form by topping the standings in 53.11, a second ahead of anybody else.
Chris Bowers took third spot overall in 54.30, whilst 2019 junior World Champion Etienne Chappell (Seren Dwr) who joined the squad for this World Cup, took fourth spot in 54.56. Bradley Forbes-Cryans made it a full house for the British team in 11th with a time of 55.32.
Women’s C1 semi-finals
0816 Kimberley Woods
0818 Sophie Ogilvie
0850 Mallory Franklin
Men’s C1 Semi-finals
0935 Ryan Westley
0941 Peter Linksted
0959 Adam Burgess
1034 Women’s C1 Final – Top 10 qualify
1111 Men’s C1 Final – Top 10 qualify
Women’s Extreme Slalom Heats
1415 Kimberley Woods
1433 Nikita Setchell
1439 Megan Hamer-Evans
1439 Mallory Franklin
Men’s Extreme Slalom Heats
1500 Joe Clarke
1503 Etienne Chappell
1506 Chris Bowers
1509 Bradley Forbes-Cryans
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – Semi-final – 16th
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) Semi-final – 24th
Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone) – SILVER
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) – Semi-final – 19th
Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone) – Semi-final – 37th
Women’s Extreme slalom
Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District) 4th and qualifies to heats
Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) 9th and qualifies to heats
Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) 13th and qualifies to heats
Kimberley Woods (Rugby) – 17th and qualifies to heats
Men’s Extreme slalom
Joe Clarke (Stafford & Stone) – 1st and qualifies to heats
Chris Bowers (Stafford & Stone) – 3rd and qualifies to heats
Etienne Chappell (Seren Dwr) – 4th and qualifies to heats
Bradley Forbes-Cryans (CR Cats) – 11th and qualifies to heats