Mallory Franklin underscored her status as a grave contender to crown the first women’s Olympic boating champion at C1 yesterday in the fastest qualifying for Thursday’s semi-finals. C1 is a unused event in Tokyo, added to the schedule in place of C2 for men to donate gender equality in the sport.
Franklin is already Britain’s most thriving female rower, winning the individual world gold in 2017 and the European title two years later as well as a packed suite of team and World Cup medals. The 27-year-old started her campaign in Tokyo in pleasing fashion, posting the fastest in both qualifiers with a penalty of just two seconds.
World champion Andrea Herzog of Germany set the second-fastest time, while Australian Jessica Fox, another pre-race favourite, finished fifth ahead of today’s semi-final – which is currently taking place, Franklin is still qualifying for – and the final, which takes place at 0755 BST.
“I’m really happy. I’ve spent a lot of time watching other people race so it was pleasing to be on the starting line and use the day as a confidence builder to show me I can make it and I have the speed,” Franklin, who hired fellow Briton Adam Burgess to know the course following he He finished fourth in the men’s C1 final on Monday.
“There is a hint of falling into the trap of the moment and what it means. I try to be really present and like it. There were probably a lot of people who thought we weren’t going to do very well and that didn’t include being in the games but we showed today so far that is not true. There are some pleasing courses and they are really tight.”
We’ll be here for all updates from C1 as well as many other Olympic updates throughout the day, highlighting Team GB’s medal hopes.