It has been a steady three-year build up for Lucien Delfour.
In 2011 the Penrith K1 canoe slalom specialist returned not one top 10 world cup finish.
The following year he did it once; not a bad once, mind. A bronze at Pau in France a career highlight.
At least until 2013. While Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox was rightly grabbing all the media attention, on the men’s side of the draw Lucien Delfour was stringing together a pretty impressive CV of his own.
Three top 10 finishes, a silver medal in Spain – you start to see why the rest of the slalom world is now keeping a very close eye on the French Polynesian-born Australian.
His preparation for this weekend hasn’t been great, but he’s ready.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve been a bit sick and I’ve had a few injuries in the past few weeks, but now I’m ok,” Delfour said.
“I had a world cup second, and made three finals, so I’m pretty happy with that. I’m just not very happy with the World Cup ranking, but it wasn’t too bad I suppose.”
Those in the know believe Delfour is a genuine medal prospect at this weekend’s World Championships in Prague. Delfour, though, is only too aware of what it would take.
“The field’s pretty impressive,” he said.
“My goal is to get on that podium. I think I’ve done the work, it’s going to take a lot of effort, and I’m going to have to race nice and clean, definitely.
“The World Cups are big races, it’s always hard to get on the podium, so it’s a good target. Winning the World Champs would be a big thing.”
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