09:25AM, Wednesday 02 October 2019
Mallory Franklin. Credit AEPhoto
Windsor's World Cup gold medallist Mallory Franklin hopes to create history and leave a legacy to remember as she looks ahead to next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo. But her current form is likely to be of more concern as she failed to impress either as an individual, or part of a team at the World Championships in Spain this weekend.
Having nearly capsized at gate 14 in the women's C1 team event, she showed her steely determination to complete the course and clinch Great Britain's C1 quota place for the Olympics with the team coming 11th overall. But penalties once again counted against her as she finished down in 20th place in the women's K1 event.
Franklin is one of Great Britain's most decorated female canoeists having scooped a remarkable haul of 11 medals in 2018 and winning both the C1 and K1 gold medals at this year's World Cup at Lee Valley.
“I am really happy that I came out on top, but I would have liked to have done it in a better style,” she said.
“That run was definitely not my best canoeing and I have struggled a lot this weekend in putting runs down and being able to hold things mentally. I am just relieved to have come out of the weekend with something positive.”
But Franklin’s ambitions go further than merely short-term aims.
“I aspire to show excellence and I want to be remembered for my paddling and leave a legacy behind me,” the former University of Bedfordshire student said.
“My goal has always been to be one of the best in the world but for a prolonged period of time rather than to become an Olympic champion.
“Of course I would like to win a gold medal at the games alongside doing that but I think one of my main goals is to sit at number one in the world for a couple of years.
“That shows that you have been the best for a long time and of course that will bring medals along with it.
“My ultimate goal now is to get that one available Olympic spot but I think I have had a good year even if I am not able to do that.”
In addition to her individual success, Franklin also won the C1 European team title for the fourth successive time in 2019, aided by fellow paddlers Kimberley Woods and Sophie Ogilvie.
But her attention now turns to the future, with a vital year looming that culminates in Tokyo next summer.
And Franklin says she’s hoping to take inspiration from her past triumphs in order to secure a spot in the boat.
“Within canoeing things change so quickly so each year just disappears into the next one but last year was one I will always remember,” she added.
“I have always been in a position where I know I can deliver but never quite been able to get there so to get my first K1 medals last season was amazing.
“In this sport the quickest doesn’t always finish first so on the day you just have to be at your best because it can be so inconsistent.
“I think as the games approach you try to forget that the selection is taking place because you just need to put down the fastest run you can on the day.”
Great Britain’s slalom paddlers will be competing on home soil at the European Canoe Slalom Championships presented by Jaffa on 15-17 May 2020 at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 1 October. Full booking details on priority tickets are available at https://www.britishcanoeingevents.org.uk/
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