Rosalyn Lawrence and Jess Fox win individual gold and then claim team title with Ali Borrows, men’s junior team wins silver.
It was a good day at the river for Team Australia with a four medal haul at the Junior and Under 23 world championships in Wausau Wisconsin.
Rosalyn Lawrence set the scene with winning the Under 23 event in a 142.98 in close race ahead of Monika Jancova of the Czech Republic and Alice Spencer of Great Britain.
By her own admission it was not her greatest run, with a loop around gate 10 in the middle of the course costing the Australian dearly. But gold is gold!
“Any medal is good but I am more concerned with how I paddled, which wasn’t as good as I can do.
It’s been really well run; everyone is super friendly and it’s good to be here”, Lawrence said.
Alison Borrows also had some difficulties on the upper section of the tricky course, but recovered to finish 5th.
In the junior event, Jess Fox stepped up a gear from her semi final yesterday producing a clean and almost faultless run on the 23 gate course to win by 13 seconds ahead of Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods of Great Britain in a time of 129.19.
“I was pretty happy with how it all went, the whole way I was just working hard trying to piece it together.
I had a little stumble in gate 7 and that fired me up to go a bit harder for the rest of the run and I was just where I wanted to be in each place so I was happy with that”, Fox said.
Despite being the favourite and last to start in the final, Fox managed to save her best for last.
“At the last Junior worlds I was just hungry to race people my age to see where I was compared to them and this one I am more mature and in a different situation being the favourite.
So I really had that pressure to perform and pressure on myself that I wanted to perform and do well in C1.
The race isn’t over there is still K1 so that keeps me motivated and in the future there are the U23 Worlds.
I will celebrate on the podium and then it’s back to focusing on the K1 final, and after that I head to London and then it’s back down to business there”. Fox said.
Maggie Webster had scraped into the final in 10th position and improved her ranking finishing in 7th place.
There was more celebration for the Australian women with gold in the Under 23 team event ahead of Germany and Great Britain. Ali Borrows joined Lawrence and Fox on the course and the podium with a well-measured display of team skills, completing the golden trifecta for Australia.
Earlier, in the men’s K1 junior final, Daniel Watkins showed his natural speed once more and raced strongly into 8th position at his first world championships.
A time error at gate 7 and four seconds of penalty cost the Tasmanian a better ranking but his performance through the championships bodes well for the future and a shot at the podium next year in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia.
Not to be outdone, the Australian men then produced an upset in the K1 junior team final finishing second to Slovenia and ahead of favourites Germany.
The Australians played a strategic card with Tim Anderson leading Andrew Eckhardt down the course with careful precision and the powerful Watkins bringing up the rear producing a fast finish for the trio.
The strategy paid off as other teams struggled to manage their pacing and teamwork, taking heavy penalty counts in the tighter sections.
The impressive performance of the junior men is the result of a more thorough approach in the preparation and development of the team orchestrated over the past few seasons by junior Head Coach, Peter Eckhardt.
The final touch to a great day was the rousing rendition of Advance Australia Fair as the Australian flag was raised for women’s team.