Fox finds rhythm to Samba into K1 semis in Rio

Featured / General / Aug 9, 2016

Four years ago it was Jessica Fox who had to do something extraordinary in her second qualifying run to make it through to the Olympic semi-finals of the K1.

But overnight it was the Olympic silver medallist who got to sit back and watch, while some of the biggest names in the sport clawed and scraped their way into Thursday’s semi.

Not that Fox had been great in her first run by any measure, sitting eighth, but she was better than many, and by the time she headed out for a second time she suspected she was through.

“To be honest I thought I had qualified before my run, I was trying to do the maths in my head to see what position I might be in,” she said.

“I was definitely nervous after my first run, because eighth place, knowing that I had quite a few good women behind me who would need to do a good second run to qualify, meant that I was “on the bubble” – which is what we say for either in or out.

“At the 23rd gate I heard that I had a good advantage so I thought I would ease up a bit, and second place is a good place to be.”

It speaks volumes for the space Fox is in here in Rio, that in an Olympic qualifier she is able to not only take in the on-course commentary, but also cruise to the finish line.

And having had that London experience, she is much better equipped to deal with the pressures of an Olympics.

“We’ve settled into the village life, I’ve had a couple of days to get into the race mode,” Fox said.

“I was really excited to race today. I was waiting all morning to get on the bus to get here. I really feel that this time we are one team, we really have that cohesiveness.”

But she has also been around long enough to expect the unexpected.

“Heats are often where the nerves come out, and you are trying to find your rhythm and get the gates well,” she said.

“For me on that first run, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. In that second run I felt like I found my rhythm and the glide and I was getting the moves well.

“From the start I felt free, I felt good and the run really flowed well. I was definitely more alert and more focussed for that second run.”

The K1 women’s semi-finals and final will be held on Thursday.