Five-time world champion Jessica Fox returns to Rio this week as part of a nine-strong Australian team to compete in the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships (25-29 September 2018).
It is a return to the course where Fox won K1 Olympic bronze just two years ago.
Teammates Lucien Delfour (NSW) and Ian Borrows (NSW) were also there at the 2016 Olympics, and both will be looking to use that knowledge to make their mark this week.
Jessica Fox (NSW) is the form canoe slalom paddler in the world this year, having created history by winning both the C1 and K1 World Cup crowns this season, as well as going through an entire C1 world cup campaign undefeated.
She is the defending K1 world champion, a title she has won twice, and will be looking to wrest back the C1 title this year, after missing out at the 2017 World Championships in Pau, France after three successive world titles.
“This is the last race of the year so I am excited to give it everything and put it all out there to be on the podium in both events. But I will need to take it one day at a time and manage recovery well. It’s a very long program and it’s going to be very hot so hopefully that is an advantage for us Aussies,” Jess Fox said.
“It’s been a great season and my best World Cup season, to win all five (World Cups) in C1 is something that’s never been done and to take out the overall in both categories was very exciting and shows that I’ve had a really consistent year,” Fox added about her unprecedented success this year.
While Fox is looking forward to racing on the course where she won bronze in 2016, the changes since then are notable.
“It is nice to be back here, we have some great memories here, although it’s not exactly the same as two years ago. The water is a bit lower and there have been a few challenges for the organisers at the venue due to some previous vandalism and damage,” Fox said about the course.
“The Brazilians are working hard to deliver the world championships to their best ability so hopefully all will fall into place and the athletes will have a good competition. Everyone is happy to be here and enjoying Rio.”
Fellow Rio 2016 teammate Delfour comes to Rio in some of the best form of his career, winning a silver medal in the world cup final in La Seu, Spain earlier this month. It was his first world cup medal since 2015.
“To be honest, in our sport we can’t expect a certain result, as it is too unpredictable. One can only hope. In my case I’m hoping to come home with a medal,” Delfour said about his expectations for the World Championships.
And about being in Rio he added, “Paddling back here after two years has been a lot better than I anticipated. Rio is a very hard course and it took me a few days, but now I finally have a better feeling of the course that I did during the Olympic Games.”
Ros Lawrence (NSW) was a spectator in Rio, but is thrilled to be racing on an Olympic course in both the K1 and the C1.
“It’s a little bit of a thrill to see what it’s like,” she said. “I was there in 2016 spectating, unfortunately, but it was a good time. I think they are going to put on a good event here.”
Her 2018 has not been what she had hoped, but knows it is this week that is important.
“The World Championships are the races that people remember, it’s what are funding is based on, there’s always a bit more hype for the worlds,” Lawrence said.
“So yes, it’s exciting. I’m not super happy with my results so far, but it’s the worlds that counts so we will see what happens. There’s some very good competition out there, so I’ll just do what I can.”
Like Lawrence, World Championships teammate Daniel Watkins (TAS) is excited to be racing for the first time on the Olympic course.
“This trip has been my first to Rio and my first time paddling on the Olympic course from 2016. It’s really cool to be racing on the Olympic course after watching the games on TV and finally comparing the course to what we saw on TV and TV never does a venue justice. It’s taken some time to get used to a completely new course, but it’s been really fun too and it’s a great venue,” Watkins said.
“Training has been good and we have made the most of our time on the course to get the final tweaks done before the race! We have also enjoyed a couple of outings in Rio and at the beach to change scenery and recover,” Watkins added about his first time experience in Rio.
Watkins will be contesting both the C1 and K1 and is aiming to first of all make his first World Championships semi-final.
“I would definitely like to be in both the C1 and K1 semi-final. I’ve been unlucky the last two worlds and haven’t yet been in the semi-final at a World Championships. Then I would like to just have a smooth feeling in the semi-final and see how that carries me and be close or in the final ideally.”
The other members of the Australian World Championships team are Tim Anderson (NSW, K1M), Brodie Crawford (WA, C1M), Kate Eckhardt (TAS, K1W) and Noemie Fox (NSW, C1W).
Daniel Watkins, Jessica Fox and Ros Lawrence have also been entered into the slalom extreme cross events.
The 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships begin in Rio tonight with the team events, and run through until Sunday.
Live Stream of the event can be followed via www.canoeicf.com
Access live results here: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/rio-de-janeiro-2018/rankings-results
See schedule here or below: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/rio-de-janeiro-2018/schedule
See athlete bios here: https://paddle.org.au/canoe-slalom-athlete-profiles/
Paddle Australia Team – 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships
|K1 Men & K1 Team||Lucien Delfour (NSW)|
|Tim Anderson (NSW)|
|Daniel Watkins (TAS)|
|C1 Men & C1 Team||Daniel Watkins (TAS)|
|Brodie Crawford (WA)|
|Ian Borrows (NSW)|
|K1 Women + K1 Team||Jessica Fox (NSW)|
|Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW)|
|Kate Eckhardt (TAS)|
|C1 Women + C1 Team||Jessica Fox (NSW)|
|Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW)|
|Noemie Fox (NSW)|
Event Schedule Rio Local Time (AEST +13hrs)
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
|11:15:00||3 X K1W|
|12:00:00||3 X C1M|
|12:40:00||3 X C1W|
|13:08:00||3 X K1M|
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
SLALOM – HEATS GROUP 1 – RUN 1
|10:15:00||C1M – 1st run|
|11:15:00||K1W – 1st run|
SLALOM – HEATS GROUP 1 – RUN 2
|14:00:00||C1M – 2nd run|
|14:40:00||K1W – 2nd run|
Thursday, September 27, 2018
SLALOM – HEATS GROUP 2 – RUN 1
|09:00:00||C1W – 1st run|
|09:48:00||K1M – 1st run|
SLALOM – HEATS GROUP 2 – RUN 2
|12:45:00||C1W – 2nd run|
|13:13:00||K1M – 2nd run|
EXTREME CANOE SLALOM – TIME TRIALS (without gates)
|15:00:00||Time trials K1W CSLX|
|15:21:000||Time trials K1M CSLX|
Friday, September 28, 2018
SLALOM – 1ST GROUP – SEMI FINAL
|14:48:00||C1M Semi final|
|15:50:00||K1W Semi final|
Saturday, September 29, 2018
SLALOM – 1ST GROUP – FINAL
SLALOM – 2ND GROUP – SEMIFINAL
|14:03:00||C1W semi final|
|15:05:00||K1M semi final|
Sunday, September 30, 2018
SLALOM – 2ND GROUP – FINAL
EXTREME CANOE SLALOM – 1/8 1/4, 1/2,finals
|13:30:00||K1W CSLX 1/8 Final|
|14:11:00||K1M CSLX 1/8 Final|
|15:33:00||K1W CSLX – 1/4 Final|
|15:51:00||K1M CSLX – 1/4 Final|
|16:09:00||K1W CSLX – 1/2 Final|
|16:18:00||K1M CSLX – 1/2 Final|
|16:28:00||K1W CSLX – Final|
|16:33:30||K1M CSLX – Final|
Follow the #auspaddleteam via