Ian Borrows – Pic by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
Australians have made a strong start to the Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships in Auckland, highlighted by two-time Olympic medalist, Jessica Fox, qualifying in top place for both the K1 and C1 semi-finals.
There were also strong performances from fellow Olympians, Lucien Delfour and Ian Borrows, and from the experienced Ros Lawrence.
Fox picked up a two-second penalty but still finished well ahead of the world-class field in the K1. Her time of 95.47 was more than five seconds quicker than second-placed Lawrence, on 100.73 seconds.
Frenchwoman Nouria Newman was third, while there were also top ten results for fellow Australians Alison Borrows (7th), Kate Eckhardt (8th) and Noemie Fox (10th).
Fox was even more dominant in the C1, finishing more than six seconds ahead of Frenchwoman, Claire Jacquet, with sister Noemie Fox third.
Eckhardt (5th) and Lawrence (7th) also finished top ten.
In the men’s K1, Delfour finished third quickest behind American Michal Smolen and Frenchman Quentin Burgi.
A two-second penalty put Delfour 3.16 seconds behind Smolen, with Jaxon Merritt (7th) and Timothy Anderson (8th) both finishing top ten.
In the C1, Ian Borrows finished qualifying in fourth, Daniel Watkins fifth and Brodie Crawford sixth. Another Australian, Steven Lowther, finished ninth.
Great Britain’s Ryan Westley qualified for the semi-finals in top spot, 4.73 seconds ahead of Borrows.
The full qualifying list for Sunday’s semi-finals can be found here http://www.slalomnz.org.nz/Home/tabid/56/Default.aspx