Canoe Slalom: Franklin aiming for winning world Cup start

Mallory Franklin
Mallory Franklin won a gold, two silvers and bronze in last year's World Championships
Canoe Slalom World Cup: Lee Valley, London
Saturday: 12:00-13:15 & 15:00-16:15 - Men's C1 & Women's K1 Finals & Extreme Slalom Finals- Red Button, Sport website, app and connected TVSunday: 12:00-1315 - Women's C1 & Men's K1 Finals - Red Button, Sport website, app and connected TV

Mallory Franklin says she is relishing being at home in this weekend's World Cup Canoe Slalom opener at Lee Valley.

Franklin, 24, won four individual and team medals in C1 and K1 at last year's World Championships, but still has to secure Olympic qualification this year.

Her best event, the C1, will be included for the first time at an Olympics in next year's Tokyo Games.

"We've learned the course from being based here. I think we have quite a big home advantage," she told BBC Sport.

Franklin, who has had injury problems in the past, knows this summer's events are crucial to her hopes of getting at least one medal in Tokyo, assuming she make the GB team.

"I definitely feel added pressure from Olympic selection - it only comes round every four years, " she said. "But my goal this year is just to come out with results I'm happy with."

She expects to be pushed hard in the kayak (K1) by team-mates Kimberley Woods and Fiona Pennie, with Woods starting in the C1 too.

Internationally, Australia's Jessica Fox and Maialen Chourraut of Spain are the names to watch for.

In the men's events, Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke will lead GB in the K1 and David Florence, who won silver in London and Rio in the C2, will be one of the favourites in the C1, the event he won a world title in, also at Lee Valley.

The event will also feature the Extreme Canoe Slalom format, which many see as an exciting innovation for the sport.

It's a format that is brutal at times - four paddlers on course, contact inevitable and often heavy - but it might heading for the Olympics.

The ICF hope the format, which is attracting encouraging feedback from television partners, will be accepted for the Paris Games in 2024.

GB team: Men: K1: Joe Clarke, Bradley Forbes-Cryans, Chris Bowers; C1: David Florence, Ryan Westley, Adam Burgess; Men's Slalom Cross: Gareth Farrow, Jiri Tykal, Etienne Chappell, Aaron White,

Women: K1: Fiona Pennie, Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods; C1: Franklin, Woods, Sophie Ogilvie; Women's Slalom Cross: Emily Buchanan, Gabrielle Ridge, Emily Davies.

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