Penrith once again produced unpredictable weather with poor conditions impacting on Saturdays racing before warm weather for the final day of competition.
With Junior, Under 23 and Senior selection points up for grabs, the Aussies were keen to perform and managed several medals over the weekend.
London Olympian Robin Jeffery claimed his first senior medal with a strong performance earning him silver in the men’s C1final on Saturday.
Jeffery finished just behind German Franz Anton, while Czech paddler Stanislav Jezek had to settle for bronze.
“it feels fantastic, I was hanging onto it a little bit in places and I was just really happy that I kept my mind on the next gate the whole way down so I was not dwelling on anything that happened in the past,” said Jeffery.
Jessica Fox continued her silver streak with another second place, this time behind Czech paddler Katerina Kudejova who took gold just 0.7 seconds ahead of Fox on Saturday. Sarah Grant earned her maiden Australian Open medal with a bronze as she earns all important selection points for the senior team.
“Obviously you want to win but Katerina Kudejova is one of the top girls in the sport and she raced better than me today and she did really well and I was happy with my race,” said Fox.
“I will probably look back on it and think I can improve here and there but I think I was 0.7 behind, it is not too bad, I am happy.”
Lucien Delfour was the standout performer on Sunday with his first podium finish at the Australian Open claiming bronze amongst a strong field.
He was relegated to bronze with the 2012 Australian Open winner, Sebastian Schubert returning to claim silver and Jiri Prskavec of the Czech Republic the winner in a time of 84.95.
Delfour was impressive amongst a classy international field and recovered well from an early gate touch in the final to improve on his sixth place finish in this event last year.
“To be honest I am a bit disappointed because I wanted the first place, but I had a touch so I think it is still good to be on the podium,” said Delfour.
Fox backed up her K1 performance going one better in the Canoe to take gold in the Women’s C1 final. Australia made it a clean sweep with Rosalyn Lawrence and Alison Borrows securing the silver and bronze respectively.
Australia fielded 10 of the 13 starters in the women’s canoe demonstrating our growing strength in this field.
National Performance Director Richard Fox was impressed with racing at this years’ Australian Open, “It was pleasing to see our athletes perform so well against high quality competition over the weekend. In particular, our next generation of young paddlers performed well, with many of our Junior and Under 23 athletes achieving PB’s in some strong performances.”
The battle for senior and U23 selection will continue at Bradys Lake, Tasmania from 9-10 March.
Full results are available via the links below.
Australian Open title holders
Men’s Canoe – Franz Anton
Women’s Kayak – Katarina Kudejova
Men’s Kayak – Jiri Prskavek
Women’s Canoe – Jessica Fox
Men’s Double Canoe – Franz Anton & Jan Benzien