GB canoeist Mallory Franklin ready for Worlds despite injury

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport
Mallory Franklin
Mallory Franklin suffered two injuries in training
Canoe Slalom World Championships
Venue: Deep Creek, Maryland, USA Dates: 17-21 September BBC coverage: Live on selected Connected TVs and online from 14:00 BST on 20 and 21 September. Highlights on BBC Two from 16:00-17:30 on 28 September.

Mallory Franklin believes she can challenge for medals at this week's Canoe Slalom World Championships despite a freak injury in training which left her temporarily unable to walk.

The 20-year-old Briton tried to do a human plank exercise on a pole and slipped, landing heavily on her foot and injuring her knee.

"It was something so stupid," Franklin told BBC Sport. "I was trying to do a human plank, hanging off a pole, when I hit my foot on the floor and did something to my knee.

What is a human plank?
A plank is an abdominal exercise in the push-up position on a mat with the body's weight forced onto the forearms, elbows and toes. It becomes a human plank when you do the exercise by balancing on an object and essentially suspending your body.

"I couldn't walk but then had a steroid injection, so I was able to paddle again."

She also aggravated a back problem when competing at the Under-23 European Championships in Macedonia in July, but was able to continue training, albeit it with a reduced number of sessions.

The back injury has been a more of a long-term problem, but it is something which Franklin hopes to sort out properly after the World Championships, which start on Wednesday at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, USA.

"I've had a fracture on one of the joints that comes off the spine for a few years," said Franklin, who won world silver last year. "It flared up at the Under-23 European Championships so I had to ease off my training.

GB's Canoe Slalom World Championships squad
K1 MJoe Clarke, Richard Hounslow, Tom Brady
K1 WFiona Pennie, Bethan Latham, Mallory Franklin
C1 MDavid Florence, Ryan Westley, Tom Quinn
C2 MDavid Florence/Richard Hounslow, Adam Burgess/Greg Pitt, Matt Lister/Rhys Davies, Ryan Westley/Zachary Franklin
C1 WMallory Franklin, Eilidh Gibson, Jasmine Royle

"It's not a massive problem, because I had to taper my training anyway, and I've been paddling with no pain, so I should be fine. But after the Worlds, I'll have a scan and possibly have some good time off to get it sorted."

Franklin is part of a 16-strong team racing in the five-day event.

They went out to the United States on 6 September and have done a session a day on the water to allow the canoeists to get used to the course in Maryland.

David Florence
Britain's David Florence won Olympic silver at Beijing in 2008 and London two years ago

Franklin has had her best season to date this year since joining the senior squad in 2009, having won her first World Cup gold medal on home water at Lee Valley and following it up with another victory in Augsburg last month.

"I was quite young when I started racing, but I'm slowly moving my way into the medals and winning more," said Franklin, who will compete in the C1 and K1 events at Deep Creek Lake.

"Canoeing is one of these sports where you could win one race and not win a medal in the next. But my results show my pace is getting better - I just need more consistency."

Britain at the 2013 World Championships
GB won four medals - two gold, one silver and one bronze - at last year's World Championships to finish second in the medal table behind hosts Czech Republic.

Two-time Olympic silver medallist David Florence will defend the C1 and C2 titles he won in Prague last year and is in good form following silver in the C1 and bronze in the C2 with Richard Hounslow at the last World Cup in August.

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