Pics by Delly Carr/Australian Canoeing
Two-time Olympic medallist Jessica Fox has posted one of her best runs ever on her local Penrith course to win the women’s K1 canoe slalom gold at the Australian Open, adding to the C1 title she won 24 hours earlier.
Despite picking up an early two second penalty for a gate touch, Fox sizzled through the back half of the course to post a time of 96:56 seconds, six seconds ahead of Czech World Champion Katerina Kudejova, with Olympic silver medallist, Luuka Jones of New Zealand, 0:58 further back in third place.
“I think that was one of my best runs on this course to date,” Fox said.
“I think having done the C1 yesterday motivated me a bit. It’s always a physical demand on your body, and emotionally, when you are doing two events.
“This was a good field. There was a lot at stake, so I was happy to race freely and attack it the way the men paddle.”
In the men’s C1, veteran David Florence almost missed making the final, but scraped in as the last qualifier and then set a cracking 95:78 which proved too much for the rest of the field to catch.
Florence, the two-time World Champion, took the gold from fellow Great Britain paddler, Ryan Westley, with Slovakia’s Olympic silver medallist, Matus Benuj, finishing third.
19-year-old Tristan Carter was Australia’s only entry in the C1 final after posting a fast semi-final time which saw him leapfrog most of the world-class field to qualify seventh.
Although he was unable to recapture the form in the final, finishing ninth, he was stoked to make the top ten and to confirm his place on the senior Australian team for this year’s World Championships.
“I was very happy with my semi-final run, that was the one that really mattered,” he said.
“The finals run wasn’t as good, but i was still happy to be there among the top guys. It was a great experience.
“It’s my first time on the senior team, I’m looking forward to going overseas again and getting experience on a whole new level.”
The final Australian senior team for this year’s World Championships is;
Men’s C1 – Ian Borrows, Tristan Carter, Daniel Watkins.
Women’s C1 – Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox, Ros Lawrence, Kate Eckhardt.
Men’s K1 – Lucien Delfour, Warwick Draper, Jaxon Merritt.
Women’s K1 – Jessica Fox, Ros Lawrence, Kate Eckhardt.