Olympic canoe slalom silver medalist Jessica Fox is set to get a chance to go one better in Rio this year after winning the second Australian nomination trial at the Oceania Championships on Friday.
While Fox’s K1 selection has to be ratified by the Australian Olympic Committee, the 21-year-old was elated to have performed so strongly in her trials.
“It’s kind of a bit of shock, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Fox said.
“It’s been a big couple of weeks. In the lead-up you can really feel the tension, you can feel this is the big event, so it was really good to perform today.
“This time around I was really nervous.”
Fox said the difference between her emotions leading into London as an unknown teenager, and trying to qualify this year as a defending medallist, has been stark.
“I remember the qualifications for London, it was a totally different story,” she said.
“Then I had the mindset that I was young, if I miss out it won’t matter, it will be a good experience either way.
“This time around this is what I really wanted, and I wouldn’t have settled for anything less. I would have been really upset.”
To earn the right to be nominated Fox had to win at least two of the three nomination events.
She sealed the first win at the Australian Championships earlier this month and then finished as the quickest Australian in the qualifying runs on Friday.
While she was able to sneak under the media radar leading into London, she knows it’s probably going to be different this year.
“I’m realistic and I’m going out there with an open mind,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to this campaign, and if there is media attention I’m not shying away from it.
“It’s part of the process, it’s part of the learning, it’s something I’ve learned to deal with, the expectation and challenge.”
The battle for a potential Olympic berth for the men’s C1 will come down to Saturday, after Western Australia’s Robin Jeffery was the quickest Australian in Friday’s qualifying runs.
Penrith paddler Ian Borrows won the first nomination event at the Australian Championships, meaning Saturday’s semi-finals and finals will be the deciding event.