Grigar and Franklin live up to billing at U23 World Championships

Slovakia’s Jakub Grigar has landed an emotional home-town win and Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin has broken through for her first big win of 2017 at the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom Championships in Bratislava on Friday.

Grigar, the defending World U23 K1 champion and a two-time World Junior Champion, won the U23 title in a time of 89.86 seconds, almost two seconds clear of Austria’s Mario Leitner in 91.89, with France’s Mathieu Desnos thid in 93.51.

“It feels pretty amazing,” Grigar said.

“It was pretty good today, I just sat on the water, I didn’t feel too good but I felt okay so I just tried to warm up as well as possible.

“For sure this is really special, winning the World Championships title in front of your home crowd, it’s really amazing. I’ve met a lot of people that told me they came to watch me, and they came for me. It was pretty awesome.”

Mallory Franklin notched up her first U23 World Championship gold and her first major title of 2017 by winning the women’s C1 in 109.08, with Czech Tereza Fiserova second in 112.25, and British European champion, Kimberley Woods, third in 113.95.

Pre-race favourite, Jessica Fox, picked up a 50-second penalty for missing a gate and finished 10th.

“I’ve struggled a bit this year, in C1 not K1, I’ve felt a little bit unsteady in my boat,” Franklin said.

“So it’s really nice to have that run come out and get the win. Thatrun just showed that if I keep going at it, I’ll get there.”

Austria’s Felix Oschmautz was an impressive winner in the junior K1, posting a time of 92.18, with Czechs Tomas Zima and Jan Barta filling the minor placings.

“This feels really good, especially after two silver medals, this is a really big goal for me,” Oschmautz said.

“I was already really happy because I knew my run was really good, so I knew Tomas would have to do a really super run. But I would have been happy with a silver medal or any medal.”

The women’s junior C1 title went to Germany’s Andrea Herzog, her time of 116.20 putting her ahead of home-town favourite, Sona Stanovska in 117.49, with Italy’s Marta Bertoncelli third in 126.60.

“I feel very lucky and so happy, I can’t believe it,” Herzog said.

“I was so nervous watching the other girls, but I knew I had done a good run and I thought maybe it could be a medal.”

There were more celebrations for the host country, with Slovakia’s Matus Gewissler and Juraj Skakala winning the U23 men’s C2 title, while Czech’s Pohanka and Wendl won the junior C2 gold.

Canoe Slalom
#ICFslalom #canoeslalom