Australia’s Jessica Fox has won the World U23 K1 canoe slalom title in Penrith, a victory she’s described as ‘really, really sweet’.
After the race Fox revealed she felt more nervous before today’s race than she’d ever felt before, including before the London Olympics, where she won a K1 silver medal.
Fox said last week she had unfinished business after failing to make last year’s U23 and Senior World Championship K1 finals.
“This is definitely a really sweet victory, revenge I think for last year,” she said.
“I was really really gutted after last year, so to win on my home course is a really sweet feeling. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Fox was the last competitor on the course, and knew many of the other competitors had run into trouble on the demanding Penrith run.
“I’m really happy, this whole week’s been a bit full on,” Fox said.
“I guess there was a little bit of pressure on me to throw down on my home course. I knew the course was proving pretty difficult, so I knew I just had to focus on my run and not worry about what everyone else was doing.”
Fox finished in a time of 105.37, which included a two-second penalty for a gate touch.
China’s Lu Li finished second in 109.15, with Great Britain’s Beth Latham third.
Australia’s Alison Borrows finished fourth in her first major event final.
In the men’s K1, American Michal Smolten proved the master of Penrith with an impressive win
“I worked really hard to get here, so I’m just so happy that it’s come through for me,” Smolen said.
“I actually was not that nervous before the final. I was actually more nervous before my semi-final because last year I didn’t make it to the final, so you can imagine it was kind of stressful trying to get into the final.”
Italy’s Giovanni De Gennaro finished second, to follow on from his bronze last year, while pre-race favourite Jiri Prskavec from the Czech Republic in third.