Canoe Slalom / Featured / Jul 14, 2016

Australia’s Jessica Fox has made a strong start to her U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships campaign in Krakow, cruising through the first round of qualifying in the non-Olympic C1 in first position.

Fox, who is aiming for a third U23 C1 title, finished almost six seconds ahead of her closest rival, France’s Cecile Tixier.

Younger sister Noemie also looked strong, qualifying for the semi-finals in fifth place, while a third Australian, Georgia Rankin, also qualified for the semi-finals.

22-year-old Fox is using the U23 World Championships as a final warm-up for next month’s Rio Olympics, where she is the defending K1 silver medalist.

Tasmania’s Daniel Watkins continued his strong early form at the World Championships, qualifying fifth fastest for the semi-finals of the men’s K1 24 hours after also qualifying for the semi-finals of the men’s C1.

Joining Watkins in the K1 semis will be fellow Australians Tim Anderson and Ben Pope.

The news was not so good in the junior divisions, with Tristan Carter, Tim Coward and Louis Richardson all missing out on qualifying for the K1 semi-finals, and Alexandria Choate, Billie Knell and Kira Wall coming up short in the C1 qualifiers.

Jessica Fox will begin her campaign for a third consecutive U23 K1 title on Thursday night.