All the talk after Saturday afternoon’s canoe slalom semi-finals centred around the performance of 17-year-old Bethan Forrow of Great Britain, who upstaged all her more experienced opponents to qualify quickest for Sunday’s C1 final at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Her British teammate and reigning Olympic gold medallist, Joe Clarke, was fastest qualifier in the men’s K1.

Teenage Forrow posted a clean run of 114.20, finishing more than two seconds ahead of Australia’s Jessica Fox and Brazil’s Ana Satila. Fox picked up six seconds in penalties, and Satila four seconds.

“In the start pool I just tried to tell myself to go out there and enjoy myself,” Forrow said.

“It’s not often you get to come to a senior world championships. Even to get into the semis was massive for me.

“I’m just going to go out there in the final and try and enjoy it, and hope for the best.”

Forrow was talent spotted as a 12-year-old during a school visit by British Canoeing.

“12-year-old me would never have imagined I would be paddling alongside Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods at a world championships,” she said.

“It’s going to be scary going down last, I’m not used to that.”

Poland’s Michael Pasiut was the surprise early leader in the men’s K1 qualifying, and eventually only the Rio gold medallist could better his time of 92.09.

Clarke’s time was 91.78.

“I really enjoy paddling here, so its good to put on a good run in a really competitive semi-final,” Clarke said.

“It wasn’t a perfect run, and I think because it’s such a challenging course it’s going to come and go. Some of the moves you did in the semis, might not work in the final.

“If I can repeat that tomorrow it will be good.”

Great Britain Joe Clarke Rio World Championships

Canoe Slalom
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