Jessica Fox (NSW) has started the new 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom season in the same way she finished the 2017 season – on top of the women’s K1 podium.
Fox stormed to World Championship gold in Pau, France, last year, and showed her form has held up with an emphatic victory in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia, on Saturday.
Fox qualified fastest in the morning’s semi-final, and then held her nerve as the final competitor in the final to post a time of 101.20, almost two seconds faster than Austria’s Corinna Kuhnle, with Germany’s Ricarda Funk third.
A two-second penalty for the Austrian for a gate touch proved costly, with the final margin 1.58 seconds.
“I’m really pleased with my K1 races, second in the heats, first in the semis, and then to back that up with a win is awesome,” Fox said.
“It’s always tough the first race of the season. Our last competition was the Australian Open, the Europeans have had their Championships, so you know the levels been up.
“There’s pressure, but there’s also this expectation that I put on myself. I had a great season last year, and I want to match that, I want to better that, I want to keep improving on that.”
“While there’s pressure, I don’t feel like I’m being chased, I feel like Ricarda, Corinna, they’re consistently up there. It makes for great finals and a great competition.”
Fox has a trophy cabinet full of World Cup and World Championship gold medals, along with an Olympic silver and bronze medal.
But she believes she has more to learn, and will continue to fine tune what she already knows.
“I think it’s a mixture of both,” Fox said.
“It’s learning and evolving, that’s really important to keep innovating and to stay ahead and to keep challenging yourself.
“But you also need to fine-tune those things you’ve learned so that you can execute them in a competition. All the things I practice in training, and I’m maybe not confident enough yet to pull them off all the time in races, but I think that’s what it is all about.”
In other Australian action on Saturday, Ros Lawrence (NSW) finished 14th in the women’s K1 semi-final, and Daniel Watkins (TAS) was 16th in the men’s C1 semi-final.
Racing continues in Slovakia on Sunday, 24 June 2018 in the women’s C1 and men’s K1 with Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW), Noemie Fox (NSW), Daniel Watkins (TAS) and Timothy Anderson (VIC) all through to the semi finals.
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Schedule, Sunday, 24 June 2018
- • Women’s C1 Semifinal: 9:03 CET (17:03 AEST)
- • Men’s K1 Semifinal: 10:08 CET (18:08 AEST)
- • Women’s C1 Final: 12:03 CET (20:03 AEST)
- • Men’s K1 Final: 12:40 (20:40 AEST)
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