Paddle Australia’s women’s canoe team has kicked off the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in style winning the women’s C1 team event in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain on Wednesday (25 September 2019).
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW) and sisters Jessica (NSW) and Noemie Fox (NSW) were the winning combination to bring home the first women’s C1 team world title for Australia since 2015. The team blitzed the field in a time of 117.97 seconds, finishing 3.75 seconds ahead of Spain, with the Czech Republic third.
This made for a golden wrap of the first day of the world championships which saw the team events take to the waters at “Segre Olympic Park”, home of canoe slalom at the 1992 Barcelona Games, and with Australia finishing outside of the medals in the other three team events.
Both Fox and Lawrence also won gold in the women’s C1 team events in 2013 and 2015, but it was the first time for the Fox-Fox-Lawrence combination to take home the win.
“We have such a strong field, especially now in the pre-Olympic year but I guess we just did our best and it was really fun. We did one practice run and then the race and we held it together really well. It’s been a while since we’ve won gold.
“Jess and Ros last won the event in 2015 so it’s really exciting and I’m so happy to be on the podium with these girls,” an emotional Noemie Fox said after the race.
The win marked the tenth world championship title for her sister Jessica Fox, who now holds three C1 team world titles as well as four individual C1 and three K1 world champion titles to her name.
Emotions were running high when the team crossed the finish line but had to wait for five other teams to finish before knowing that they had won a medal. It took a couple more teams before they knew it was gold.
“It was really special. We crossed the finish line and even though I touched a gate and Noemie had a touch, we felt really good. We worked really well together and were all really proud at the finish line. So to wait to see if we have a medal, the excitement kept building until we finally found out we won the title, so it was really special to group together and hug and I guess that’s where we got a bit emotional,” Jessica Fox said.
Myriam Fox, Noemie Fox, Ros Lawrence, Jess Fox
The gold medal was the second race of the day for the team of Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence, who also contested the women’s K1 team event. A missed gate, resulting in a 50 seconds penalty, saw them drop into 16th place and the team had to regroup quickly to focus on the C1 a couple of hours later.
“We knew we had what it takes in C1, so we just refocussed after the K1. We all double up, so we are kind of used to it whatever the result from the first class is, whether it’s good or disappointing you just refocus on the next run and do your best,” Rosalyn Lawrence said about the challenge.
“It’s really nice to start the World Champs on a positive and it can kind of changes the feeling going into the individual events. It’s a really happy start,” Ros Lawrence added with the remainder of the week in mind.
The gold medal was a welcome to start the world championships with individual events starting on Thursday and with the pressure set to rise over the next four days as world titles and Tokyo 2020 quotas are on the line.
“We were one of the only teams to do both the K1 and the C1 together, so we had two runs today and while the K1 in the morning did not go to plan to finish off this way was really lovely,” Jessica Fox said.
“It’s a good start for the rest of the week. It will be a big and long week, so we have to rest and recover well in between each event. With today’s excitement we have to come back down and refocus for tomorrow,” Jess Fox added about the task ahead.
In other Australian results, the men’s C1 canoe team of Tristan Carter (VIC), Daniel Watkins (TAS) and Ian Borrows (NSW) finished eleventh after four gate touches, while the men’s K1 kayak team of Tim Anderson (NSW), Lucien Delfour (NSW) and Daniel Watkins (TAS) finished eighth.
“Teams are always exciting and bit more fun, a bit more challenging and it gets pretty tight in certain places but it was good fun and good to be out there with the boys,” Tristan Carter said.
“If we had put down a clean, solid run we certainly would have had a shot to be up there with the big boys so it was a good warm up,” Tristan Carter said, who will be up first in Thursday’s men’s C1 heats.
“I’m just trying to get my feeling, to be comfortable in my boat, feel it and paddle the way I feel and that’s really it. I want to come into this super relaxed, know I’m ready and happy with where I am at and trust into my ability and just do my best,” Carter added about his goals for the next few days.
Racing at the world championships continues on Thursday with the men’s C1 and women’s K1 take to the water in the heats, while the heats for the women’s C1 and men’s K1 events are scheduled for Friday.
The men’s C1 and women’s K1 semi-finals and finals will take place on Saturday with the world championships wrapping up on Sunday with the women’s C1 and men’s semi-finals and finals.
About the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Championships
The biggest field of athletes in more than 15 years are taking to the waters of La Seu in Spain this week, with the double goal of becoming 2019 ICF canoe slalom world champion, and also earning their country a place at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
450 athletes from 63 countries are competing in La Seu. The top 18 countries in both men’s and women’s K1, and the top 11 countries in men’s and women’s C1, will qualify a place at Tokyo 2020.
No country will be allowed to qualify more than one athlete per event for Tokyo, meaning in some disciplines athletes who finish outside the top 20 could still earn their country a ticket to the 2020 Olympics.
Every world champion from 2018 is back to defend their title in La Seu, including Australia’s Jessica Fox, who last year won the K1/C1 world title double for a second time.
This weekend will also see the ICF Wildwater World Championships contested in La Seu. The slalom and wildwater world titles were successfully combined in Pau, France, in 2017, and will come together again in Spain.
35 countries will compete in wildwater with Australia represented in La Seu with four paddlers.
Race Schedule, Thursday, 26 September 2019
9:43:00 (17:43 AEST) Tristan Carter
9:49:00 (17:49 AEST) Daniel Watkins
9:52:00 (17:52 AEST) Ian Borrows
11:17:00 (19:17) Noemie Fox
11:31:00 (19:31) Rosalyn Lawrence
11:49:00 (19:49) Jessica Fox
AUS Results Team Events (Wednesday, 25 September 2019)
Women’s C1 Team
1 AUS 117.97 0.00
2 ESP 121.72 +3.75
3 CZE 124.48 +6.51
3X WC1 – Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence, Noemie Fox: 1st
3x WK1 – Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence, Noemie Fox: 16th
3 X MC1 – Tristan Carter, Daniel Watkins, Ian Borrows: 11th
3 X MK1 – Tim Anderson, Lucien Delfourn, Daniel Watkins: 8th
Team Australia Canoe Slalom
Women’s K1 & C1
Jessica Fox (NSW)
Noemie Fox (NSW)
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW)
Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Lucien Delfour (NSW)
Tim Anderson (NSW)
Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Ian Borrows (NSW)
Tristan Carter (VIC)
See athlete profiles here: https://paddle.org.au/canoe-slalom-athlete-profiles/