CANOE/KAYAK: Paddle Australia’s Jessica Fox brought up a winning double on the final day of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia (22 – 24 June 2018).
Fox (NSW) could not have been more impressive in the women’s C1 final on Sunday, blowing away the field to win by more than seven seconds in cold and wet conditions.
Her final time was an error-free 106.34, with Czech Tereza Fiserova finishing second in 113.96. Great Britain’s current world champion, Mallory Franklin, finished third.
Already on Saturday, Fox had started the new 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom season in the same way she finished the 2017 season – on top of the women’s K1 podium.
Fox qualified fastest in the morning’s semi-final, and then held her nerve as the final competitor in the final to post a time of 101.20. The reigning K1 World Champion finished almost two seconds faster than Austria’s Corinna Kuhnle, with Germany’s Ricarda Funk third.
“I’m really pleased with my K1 races, second in the heats, first in the semis, and then to back that up with a win is awesome,” Fox said.
“It’s always tough the first race of the season. Our last competition was the Australian Open, the Europeans have had their Championships, so you know the levels been up.
“There’s pressure, but there’s also this expectation that I put on myself. I had a great season last year, and I want to match that, I want to better that, I want to keep improving on that.”
After Sunday’s C1 gold medal run the dual Olympic medallist said she was inspired by the noise of the slalom fans as she made her way down the Liptovsky course.
“I could hear it at the start, I could hear it in the middle, I could hear the Aussies and the crowd,” she said.
“It was such an awesome run. To be able to back up after yesterday, it takes it out of you physically and mentally and emotionally, so I’m really pleased with that final.”
The Australian has dominated C1 events in recent years and will be a short-priced favourite to win gold when the discipline makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020.
“When I got into that final with a solid run, I just really wanted to charge it and attack it,” Fox said.
“I fixed the errors I made in the first run, and I was really pleased and very surprised by that time in the finish. I think the field is growing every year, and the girls are very competitive.”
Fox has a trophy cabinet full of World Cup and World Championship gold medals, along with an Olympic silver and bronze medal.
In other Australian results, Noemie Fox (NSW) finished in seventh place in the women’s C1 final, after qualifying in third place in the semi-final.
Ros Lawrence (NSW) finished in 20th place, while in the men’s K1, Timothy Anderson (VIC) finished the semi-final in 25th place and Daniel Watkins (TAS) 37th.
The second 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup begins in Krakow, Poland, on Friday (29 June).
RESULTS – FINALS
1. FOX Jessica (AUS) 106.43
2. FISEROVA Tereza (CZE) 113.96
3. FRANKLIN Mallory (GBR) 115.10
1. FOX Jessica (AUS) 101.20
2. KUHNLE Corinna (AUT) 102.78
3. FUNK Ricarda (GER) 103.65
Paddle Australia / olympics.com.au