Team GB’s Mallory Franklin has joked that she is looking forward to getting “fat”, some downtime and planning her wedding after winning Olympic silver in the canoe slalom at Tokyo 2020.
The former C1 world champion, competing in her first Games, went fifth in her final and set the standard for her rivals, before Australia’s Jessica Fox - who went last - took gold with a brilliant run down the course.
But no one could get close to Franklin before Fox overtook her, and with five athletes still to go after her turn, she admits it was difficult to watch.
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“It’s so brutal being there. It was really stressful, it’s really hard watching the other girls come in and you don’t know what’s happening and people like Jess take little chunks out,” she told Eurosport.
“It’s really cool, obviously I want to be in that position, it’s a nice position to be in but yeah, it’s very stressful so I was doing a lot of hiding and I just didn’t want to see what was going on.”
By winning silver, Franklin has become Britain’s most successful female Olympian in the canoe slalom, bettering the K1 bronze won by Helen Reeves at Athens 2004.
“It’s really cool, it’s one of the things you dream of and you don’t really think will ever happen but then you get here and it’s like, OK, I just want to enjoy the moment.
“I was sat on the start line and I was just like, this will be the last time that I’m ever sat in that exact same situation, I might as well make the most of it and enjoy it.
That’s what I tried to take into my run. It’s crazy, I don’t think it’s sunk in but - I’m just going to get fat now.
It was the first time that the C1 category had been included as a female discipline at the Games, after it was previously restricted to a kayak event, but Franklin says they have proved it should be here to stay.
“That was a really good final, there were some really amazing runs to come out and for everyone to be pushing that boundary as much as possible.
“It’s really cool and I’m really proud of all the girls who sat in that final and the entire race to be able to just show that we do belong here and we can do some really amazing canoeing.”
Franklin will return home to her fiancé, childhood sweetheart and fellow canoeist Ciaran Lee Edwards - and now has a wedding to plan: “I think I’ll just carry on procrastinating on that for a few more months and then get to November and be like...I probably should get on with this.
“It’ll be a really nice time, it’ll be one of the first times I’ve got all my family and my other half’s family and all our friends together so that can just be a bit of a celebration of everything and a bit of a celebration of the year and everything everyone’s been through so I’ll get on that when I’m home.”
But Franklin did admit she cannot guarantee her wedding will be the best day of her life: “I get to marry my best friend, so... it’s probably equal [with today]!
“He’ll be alright, he doesn’t mind, it’s probably about equal but it’s really cool and I’m really hoping that we can just enjoy the rest of the year now.”
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