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Windsor's Franklin gets Team GB call up for women's canoe slalom at Tokyo 2020

Windsor’s Mallory Franklin has said it will be ‘amazing’ to go to her first Olympic Games after Team GB announced her selection for Tokyo 2020 last week.

Franklin has been selected to race in the women’s canoe single (C1) class, the first time the event has been included in the games. Since taking up the new discipline for women in 2010 she has waited patiently for the chance to show off her skills on the Olympic stage.

She has made a meteoric rise through the sport, winning a record eight individual medals in 2018 alone to become Great Britain’s most successful female paddler. A world champion in 2017, she added the European crown to her list of honours this year, followed by a world cup gold medal on her home course at Lee Valley.

Reflecting on her inclusion in the GB squad she said: “It is amazing to be going to my first games, although it hasn’t fully sunken in yet, but I am sure it will and I will get really excited. I am really looking forward to heading out to Japan soon and getting used to the culture and the course.”

Reigning Olympic champion, and former Maidenhead resident, Liam Heath headed the list of athletes selection by the British Olympic Association (BOA) for Tokyo.

Heath will compete in his third Olympic Games next year having won sprint bronze in the K2 200m alongside Jon Schofield in London, followed by silver in the same event in Rio, before being crowned Olympic champion in the K1 200m three years ago.

Heath said: “Being selected to represent Team GB at the Olympics for a third time is such an honour and I feel incredibly lucky to compete once again, against the best of the best and hopefully make everyone proud.

“Each Games is so different and special in its own way, I’m excited to get to Tokyo to experience what this one will be like - I have no doubt it will be amazing! I just want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this moment, Team GB, British Canoeing, National Lottery players, my coaches, support staff, team mates, volunteers and family.

“I’ve not got here on my own and I hope everyone will share in this incredible moment with me.” 

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