Noemie Fox has shown she will be a strong medal contender after an impressive qualifying run in the K1 at the ICF Canoe Slalom U23 and Junior World Championships in Bratislava.
Fox, racing in a K1 in Europe for the first time this season, showed no ill-effects from her time away from the discipline by posting an error-free time of 98.64 seconds, putting her in fifth place overall.
The younger Fox didn’t qualify for the K1 event on the Australian team this summer, so has been focussing on the C1.
Austria’s Lisa Leitner was the fastest qualifier in 91.88, with Jessica Fox second, with a two-second penalty, in 96.21.
Australia’s third K1 U23 athlete, Kate Eckhardt, ran into trouble at the bottom of the course in both preliminary runs and will miss Saturday’s semi-final.
In the women’s junior K1 the trio of Alexandria Choate, Kira Wall and Kiara McKay were unable to progress to the semis after all ran into penalty trouble on both their Thursday runs.
Wall could consider herself unlucky, having to undertake a third run on the challenging Bratislava course after a struggling paddler interfered with her second run.
A clearly exhausted Wall finished her third run in 134.25, putting her 12th with only the top ten progressing to the semis.
In the U23 C2, Australia’s Kaspar and Kristian Fiebig attracted two 50-second penalties in their preliminary run, but had the confidence of knowing they would progress to the semis with only ten boats in the race.
Friday will see the first of the medals awarded. With Australia strongly represented in the men’s K1 and women’s C1.