Scott Smith (NSW) and Jessica Fox (NSW) will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Team following their success at the Australian Youth Olympic team selection trials at Penrith.
The NSWIS pair completed a double, winning the head to head sprint and the slalom obstacle course in their respective classes on Saturday.
The new format of competition adopted for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games presented a challenge in mastering the technical and physical demands of a head to head sprint on a figure of 8 course and a slalom obstacle course around buoys using new equipment and rules.
15 year old Fox of Penrith Valley Canoeing raced strongly in perfect conditions in the sprint event holding off a challenge from Kirsty Higgison (NSW) to win in a time of 115.49.
In the slalom, it was Anne-Sophie Sullivan (QLD) who met Fox in the two boat final recording a time of 103.49 while the slalom specialist recorded a superb 86.83 to earn her nomination for the team.
The result was fantastic for Fox who has only recently adapted her skills to a sprint boat after ongoing success in the slalom discipline, including a gold medal at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Games, and becoming the 2010 junior ladies K1 & C1 Oceania champion as well as taking out the senior C1 Oceania championship.
The YOG will add to an already busy year for young Fox who will compete at the Junior Slalom World Championships as well as participating in the senior slalom World Cup & World Championship tours in both LK1 and LC1 events.
Bill Bain (QLD) pushed Smith all the way in the men's K1 event, recording the fastest time in the heats, but 17 year old Smith stepped up the pace in the head to head final to record the win in 99.76 just over a second clear of the Queenslander (101.19).
Bain also met Smith in the slalom final but was unable to match the New South Welshman around the turns and settled for second place in a time of 88.76 almost three seconds behind Smith's winning time of 85.99.
Like Fox, Smith has quickly adapted to a new discipline despite a short preparation time and can only improve ahead of the Youth Olympic Games in August. The Illawarra Canoe Club member is a former Under 15 Australian Ironman Champion and junior surf lifesaver and was the National Under 18 K1 1000m champion at the 2010 nationals.
Both Fox and Smith have a strong family connection in the sport. Smith’s older brother David Smith competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and older sister Lauren has previously represented on sprint national teams whilst both Jessica’s parents have achieved at the highest level of their sport. Her mother Myriam was a two times Slalom World Champion and won a bronze medal for France at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics whilst her father Richard Fox was five times World Champion.
The Youth Olympic Games will be held from the 14-26th of August in Singapore.
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