2018 Slalom World Cup to kick-off

Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

CRAWFORD READY TO MAKE THIS A WEEK TO REMEMBER

The 2018 ICF Slalom World Cup season will kick-off in Liptovski, Slovakia this weekend (22-24 June 2018) with the week shaping as a big one for Perth paddler, Brodie Crawford (WA).

Crawford is part of a 9-strong Australian team, including Olympic medallist Jessica Fox (NSW), that will compete on this year’s Slalom World Cup circuit and the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Rio in September.

On Tuesday Crawford celebrated his 22nd birthday, and this weekend he will make his international debut in a senior Australian canoe slalom team.

Standing on the banks of the Liptovsky Mikulas course this week seems a million miles from the dark days of the summer of 2014-15.

Those dark days were really dark. Laid low with glandular fever, Crawford spent weeks unable to even climb out of bed.

He thought at the time that what had been a promising start to his canoeing career was over, even though he was still only a teenager.

“I really had retired from the sport,” Crawford reflected this week.

“But luckily the spark returned.”

Crawford is part of the 2018 Australian Slalom World Cup and World Championships team and he couldn’t be happier.

“I’m going to be nervous, but I’m definitely going to be a lot better than I have been in previous years,” Crawford said.

“It’s something I’ve been working on, and just backing myself in and enjoying it as much as I can. I’ve come a really long way, if I look back.

“I had the time off when I got sick, and then I came back to the sport and looked back at videos of my results and they were shocking.”

Crawford, a Western Australian through-and-through, recently made a big life-changing decision. He packed his suitcases, said goodbye to family and friends, and headed east to Penrith.

The changes have been dramatic.

“I’ve been there for about six months, and working with people like Ian Borrows, it’s really helped me make some big steps,” he said.

“It was really tough, because I’ve got a massive family, a huge extended family, and a really good base of support, so coming to Penrith was really hard.

“But kayaking is my passion, and it was tough at home because you are pretty much by yourself and you have to drive everything.

“The difference has been 100 per cent. I had an underlying back issue for 12 months, and within a week of working with a physio day-in-day-out it was gone

“And everything is much more professional. You feel better on the inside, with people who are there to support you. You’ve got a whole team built around you.”

The Australian team will once again be headed by two-time Olympic medallist and multiple World Champion, Jessica Fox (NSW), who will contest both the women’s K1 and C1.

Fox starts the season as the defending K1 World Champion.

Tasmania’s Kate Eckhardt (TAS) and NSW’s Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW) will join her in the K1, while younger sister Noemie Fox (NSW) will join the trio in the C1.

Crawford will be joined in the men’s C1 by training partner Ian Borrows (NSW) and Tasmania’s Daniel Watkins (TAS), with Watkins also joining Victorian Tim Anderson (NSW) and Western Australia’s Ben Pope (WA) in the K1.

The first ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup for 2018 begins tonight (Friday, 22 June) in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia, and will run through until Sunday night (24 June).

The ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup season continues in Krakow, Poland (29 June – 1 July 2018) and Augsburg, Germany (6-8 July 2018). The ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup 4 follows in Tacen, Slovenia at the end of August (31 August – 2 September 2018) before the international Canoe Slalom season wraps up at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships on the Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (25-30 September 2018).

2018 ICF Slalom World Cup 1 – Team Australia

Liptovsky, Slovakia – WCUP 1
K1 Men Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Tim Anderson (NSW)
Ben Pope (WA)
C1 Men Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Brodie Crawford (WA)
Ian Borrows (NSW)
K1 Women Jessica Fox (NSW)
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW)
Kate Eckhardt (TAS)
C1 Women Jessica Fox (NSW)
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW)
Noemie Fox (NSW)

Live streaming: http://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-cup/liptovsky-mikulas-2018

Live results: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-cup/liptovsky-mikulas-2018/rankings-results

Follow the team via

www.facebook.com/AustraliaSlalomSprint

www.instagram.com/auspaddleteam

www.twitter.com/paddle_aus

www.paddle.org.au