Six years after they last celebrated canoe slalom world titles Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin and Slovenia’s Benjamin Savsek were once again on top of the podium on Friday.

Franklin delighted a big home crowd at London’s Lee Valley by taking the women’s C1 crown, while Savsek added another men’s C1 title to the Olympic crown he won in Tokyo.

Alongside the crowning of world champions, Olympic quotas for Paris 2024 were also earned, with the top 12 countries in both the men’s and the women’s booking their tickets to the Games.

Franklin has enjoyed a successful decade in women’s canoe, missing the world championship podium only twice since 2013. She won her first world title in 2017, has four silver medals, and on Friday added her second crown to her collection.

She had to wait a long time at the bottom of the course before the final paddler crossed the line, which added to the drama for both Franklin and the British fans.

“It’s amazing to be able to do it at home and at Lee Valley, it’s my favourite course in the world and in front of the crowd, it’s pretty amazing,” Franklin said.

“I’ve generally not performed amazingly well at worlds since 2017, although I’ve medalled, so that sounds bad, but I’ve not been able to put down that performance. There’s some really good girls in C1 now, and if you look at the standard of some of those runs that won the worlds over the years, there’s been some amazing stuff gone down.

“I’d like to consider myself part of that, without ever being able to put it together, but it’s amazing to do it now. It was a really cool race, it was nerve-wracking, I didn’t enjoy it very much after I’d been through the finish, but to know I’d done as much as I could, the result was going to be what it was, to end up on top of the podium was pretty cool.”

British teammate Kimberley Woods took the silver, the first time in ICF world championship history that one country has taken the first two places, while Australia’s Olympic champion. Jessica Fox, finished third, her gold medal chances scuppered by a two-second penalty for a gate touch.

Savsek won his first world title in 2017, after consecutive silver medals in 2014 and 2015. But the Slovenian had not been back on the championship podium since, before breaking through again on Friday.

“It was an amazing run today, I can’t describe how happy I am to be a world champion again,” Savsek said.

“It’s hard to be a world champion. This year I said now or never, so I’m really happy to do this again. It’s amazing, it’s always great to be a world champion.”

France’s Nicolas Gestin and Italy’s Paolo Ceccon won their first senior world championship medals by finishing second and third respectively.

In the battle for Olympic tickets, the provisional quotas on Friday in the women were won by Andorra, USA, Australia, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, France, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Ukraine.

In the men’s, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Great Britain, France, Italy, Ireland, Croatia and USA earned quotas. The final quota is yet to be determined, after Spain and Switzerland posted exactly the same time.

The 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships continue on Saturday with the men’s and women’s K1 semi-finals and finals.



  1. FRANKLIN Mallory (GBR) 108.05 (0 seconds penalties)
  2. WOODS Kimberley (GBR) 108.47 (0)
  3. FOX Jessica (AUS) 108.94 (2)


  1. SAVSEK Benjamin (SLO) 97.40 (0)
  2. GESTIN Nicolas (FRA) 98.58 (0)
  3. CECCON Paolo  (ITA)  90 (0)

Pics by Antony Edmonds

Great Britain Mallory Franklin Lee Valley 2023

Canoe Slalom
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