Mallory Franklin takes silver as women’s C1 event makes Olympic debut

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Mallory Franklin took silver in Tokyo (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)
Mallory Franklin took silver in Tokyo (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Mallory Franklin became only the second British woman to win a medal in Olympic canoe slalom by taking silver in the C1 class in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old is a former world champion and multiple medallist at all levels but had been denied a shot at Olympic glory before the category was included for the first time here.

And Franklin took her chance superbly, posting a brilliant run and then watching all her rivals fail to overtake her until hot favourite Jessica Fox took to the water last.

The Australian, widely considered the best individual female paddler in history, had never managed an Olympic gold but she did not put a foot wrong.

Helen Reeves, who took bronze in the K1 in Athens in 2004, was Britain’s only previous medallist.

Franklin, from Windsor had qualified fastest from the heats but a mistake on an upstream gate during her semi-finals saw her through to the final in sixth.

The four paddlers before her all posted disappointing times but Franklin was smooth and fast from the start, with her only mistake coming when she picked up a two-second penalty for hitting gate 15.

She took gate 19, which had caught her out in the semi-finals, perfectly and crossed the line with the second fastest time of the competition, marginally outside her heat run.

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