Canoe Focus Winter 2017 - Page 34

34 35 An Interview with Interview by Jack Carnell 2017 was quite a year for canoe slalom athlete Mallory Franklin. Starting the year with some excellent performances at the European Championships and World Cups, Mallory really shone in both the senior and U23 World Championships. Gold medals at both in the C1 event, plus two C1 Team gold medals to add made the year one to remember for the 23 year old. British Canoeing caught up with the Windsor athlete to get her thoughts on the last 7 months… M: “It’s crazy! Canoe Slalom is such an unpredictable sport, you never know what is going to happen. I am really happy that I was able to stay calm, keep fighting and come out on top with that run in the final. “I think the way I would put it is that the Senior Worlds has a bigger depth of very good paddlers, whereas the U23 worlds has maybe one or two very good athletes per nation. It makes it a bit easier to semi and maybe even final but it is just as hard to medal.” Q: Pau was recognised pre Championships as a fairly tough course to take on amongst a number of athletes, how pleased are you to put out the run that you did in that final? Q: With C1 now an Olympic discipline, does that make this World Championship win even more significant going through the Tokyo 2020 cycle? M: “It is a really good start to my first Olympic cycle in C1 and it gives me confidence into the rest of the cycle. However we are only in year one and there are many more races to come and a lot can change in that time. M: “Pau is a course that is so changeable, it surges quite a lot and it is quite difficult to predict. I have struggled quite a lot in the past to feel happy on the course and feel as though I can paddle as well as I’d like, this just makes me even happier that I was able to do that run especially in the final, it was easily the best run I’ve ever done on Pau and thankfully at the absolute best time.” “I think my focus always has to be on learning as much as I can from every run and taking that learning into the next one. I am trying to become the best athlete I can be and we will see where that takes me.” Q: You were actually the first of the ten to take on the final run – do you feel that had any benefits? Putting all the pressure on the others to beat your time? M: “It was a really good situation (once I had gotten over the rather scary moment of finishing in 10th to qualify), once you’re sat on the start line, you want to be focusing in on your plan and doing your best. canoephotography.com / Balint Vekassy (ICF) canoephotography.com / Balint Vekassy (ICF) “It’s been a long year with a lot of time away from home, but to have this World Championship to show for it, makes it all worthwhile! I can’t wait to get back into winter training and take the learning from this year and try to come out even stronger next year.” Q: U23 World Champion only months ago, now senior World Champion – how do the two competitions compare? Is there a significant step up in quality out on the course? Alex Pantling Q: First off, senior C1 World Champion at just 23 years old. How good does that feel? M: “The senior World Championships is easily the hardest event of the year, everyone is vying for that title and the best three boats from every nation is there. The U23 Worlds is usually a step down from this, but within the C1W Class a fair number of the top boats are still young. You can see this by the fact the whole podium at the Senior Worlds were also competing at the U23 Worlds earlier this year. >> canoephotography.com / Balint Vekassy (ICF)