Silver Fox Set for Double Tokyo Glory

Three Tokyo Quota Spots and Three Medals for Australia at 2019 Canoe World Titles – ICF Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Championships – La Seu d’Urgell, Spain (25 – 29 September 2019)

Australia’s paddling star and world’s most successful female canoe slalom paddler of all time Jessica Fox has wrapped up the 2019 canoe slalom world titles with one team gold and two individual silver medals after finishing second in the women’s C1 on Sunday. Fox also secured Australia another Tokyo 2020 quota spot in the process.

Already on Saturday, Fox won silver in the women’s K1, the boat class she also secured Australia a quota spot in earlier in the week. On Wednesday last week, Fox, sister Noemie and Rosalyn Lawrence combined their forces to win a team gold in the women’s C1 bringing Australia’s medal tally at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships at La Seu d’Urgell, Spain to three.

Fellow Rio Olympian Lucien Delfour also made it three quota spots for Australia when he qualified for the men’s K1 final on Sunday where he finished eighth. Australia will have another chance to secure the fourth Olympic spot in the men’s C1 event at the Oceania championships in February.

Subject to final nomination and selection, women’s K1 and C1 world number one Jessica Fox looks set to aim for double Olympic glory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year following the conclusion of the world titles in Spain.

Winning two podium spots in La Seu, Jessica Fox satisfied the early nomination requirements to gain selection for Tokyo 2020. Based on the early nomination criteria her world cup wins in both the women’s K1 and C1 at the world cup final in Prague a couple of weeks ago as well as the two podium spots in La Seu count towards early nomination.

“It’s a huge relief. I’m feeling great joy and great pride to project myself now into the Olympic team and to say that I will represent Australia again is amazing. It’s just so tough in our sport. Only one can go to the Olympics per event and I’m really excited about the next few months and the lead up to Tokyo and then we’ll see,” Fox said.

“For me the goal was to qualify for Tokyo this year and to try and get the pre-nomination. And to do that it was also showing up to try and defend my world titles. Not today, but hopefully there will be other opportunities,” the four-time C1 and three-time K1 world champion said about the goals on the weekend.

Fox qualified for Sunday’s women’s C1 final with a second place in the morning’s semi-final and when she picked up a two-second penalty for a gate touch early on in the final, it was all about catching up.

In the end Fox did manage to finish the run with the fastest raw time, but adding the two seconds meant a 0.94 margin for Germany’s winner Andrea Herzog. Austria’s Nadine Weratschnig finished third.

Photo Bence Vekassy

Photo Bence Vekassy

“I’m not quite sure what happened, but I slipped a bit in my run and touched gate three so obviously that’s a two seconds penalty that I had to chase the rest of the course.

“The rest of the run was attacking and apart from another little time loss under the bridge I think the run was really good and I’m really proud about that fight to the finish and obviously Andrea put down an incredible run. I’m very pleased for her winning her first world title and doing it in style.

“She went four seconds faster than the semi-final so I had to try and chase that. I almost got there but the touch obviously cost me. But I’m very pleased for a silver again today,” Fox said about her run and crediting her competitor.

A silver medal meant a new world champion in the class, but Fox was still happy with her performance at the world champs as well as the season overall that saw her once again win the overall C1 and K1 world cup title.

She has also worn the C1 world number 1 uninterrupted since 2013 which is an impressive statistic in itself. The two silver medals at La Seu brought her individual world championships medal tally to ten and her overall medals (including team) on world champs level to 15.

“People tend to look at the medals, I tend to look at the runs. And I think I had some phenomenal runs this season. I maybe didn’t win but they were still some of my best runs. The ones that did win were incredible and I had some fantastic performances today, “ Fox dismissed the statistics.

“Yesterday the K1 was a great run, Eva was better and she’s done an amazing finish and today Andrea blew us all away and I had to chase it. I’m still pleased with silver,” the 25-year old added.

Jess Fox K1 - Photo Bence Vekassy

Jess Fox K1 – Photo Bence Vekassy

In the men’s K1 Rio Olympia Lucien Delfour locked away the Olympic quota spot for Australia by qualifying for the final following a sixth place in the semi-final.

In the final he was going for the attack and the win but a time loss at the bottom end of the course saw him drop into eighth place.

“I suppose eighth is better than not being in the final. But it was such a silly mistake that I did on the bottom of the course. It was probably because I was trying to go for the win, but sometimes those little mistakes just happen,” Delfour said self-critically.

Looking at the positives though, Delfour was happy to lock away the quota spot and focus on training for the Tokyo test event and national selections next with fellow team mates Daniel Watkins (TAS) and Tim Anderson (NSW) in the mix as well.

“The quota is secure for us, for the K1 men, which is great because we obviously want a K1 men at Tokyo and didn’t want to have to fight for the quota against the Kiwis at the Oceania Champs so this is the best situation,” Delfour explained.

“After the semi-final I was so relieved and so happy that we secured the quota. That’s so much pressure off the chest to know that the country has qualified, but it was a difficult day to say the least,” Delfour said.

“Now that’s all done and we can focus on the next steps with the test event in a few weeks and we will focus on selections. I’m so keen on going to Japan. I’ve always wanted to go there and the next months will be tough as we will all train hard and all of us will fight for the one spot. But that’s part of the game.”

Delfour - Photo Bence Vekassy

Delfour – Photo Bence Vekassy

In other Australian results, Rosalyn Lawrence just missed the final of the women’s C1 after finishing 16th in the semi-final. Noemie Fox finished 30th after a gate miss in the semi-final. 
 
Tim Anderson  raced his first world championships semi-final ever and finished a strong 17th
 
The Australian team will now head home with a small group of Jessica Fox, Lucien Delfour as well as Daniel Watkins and Noemie Fox to head to Tokyo in a few weeks for the test event. 
 
“We’ll head to Tokyo in a few weeks’ time and try the course and see what it’s like. Get our bearings on the course and in Tokyo/ I’m excited to get back to Japan and discover Tokyo and the course and get back to training,” Jessica Fox said.
 
While Fox has secured herself pre-nomination within the team, the fight for nomination and selection is still open on the men’s team. 
 
The next and final opportunity for Australia to secure an Olympic C1 quota spot will be at the ICF Canoe Slalom Oceania Championships in Auckland at the start of February (1-3 February 2019) with final selections in both the men’s K1 and C1 events to be finalised following the Australia Open in Penrith at the end of February. 
 
About the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Championships
 
The biggest field of athletes in more than 15 years took 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 competed 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, qualified a place at Tokyo 2020.
 
No country is 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.
 
Jessica Fox won her tenth world title on Wednesday, when she took out gold in the women’s C1 team events together with sister Noemie Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence.  
 
The most successful individual paddler of all time now holds four C1, three K1 as well as three C1 team world titles to her name.

Adding two world championships individual medals to her name, the most decorated individual slalom paddler at world championships now has won 10 individual world championships medals, including seven gold.

Fox also won a total of 15 medals across individual and team events, including 10 gold.

See all results here: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/la-seu-d-urgell-2019/results
 
See the Canoe Slalom Olympic Qualification system here:
 
https://www.canoeicf.com/sites/default/files/final_2018-03-16_tokyo_2020_qualification_system_canoe_slalom_eng.pdf
 
AUS Final Results
 
WOMEN’S K1

  1. TERCELJ Eva (SLO)        94.27 (0)
  2. FOX Jessica (AUS)          94.69 (0) + 0.42
  3. JONES Luuka (NZL)        94.77 (0) +0.50
WOMEN’S C1
  1. HERZOG Andrea  (GER) 100.52 (0 penalties)
  2. FOX Jessica  (AUS) 101.46 (2) +0.94
  3. WERATSCHNIG Nadine (AUT) 106.45 (4) + 5.93
MEN’S K1
  1. PRSKAVEC Jiri      (CZE) 84.26 (0 penalties)
  2. LLORENTE David (ESP) 85.96 (2)
  3. CRESPO Joan       (ESP) 87.22 (0)

8. DELFOUR Lucien (AUS) 91.35 (0) +7.09

Women’s C1 Team
  1. AUS          117.97 0.00 (Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence)
  2. ESP           121.72 +3.75
  3. CZE           124.48 +6.51

Women’s C1
Jessica Fox (NSW) – 2nd
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW) – 16th
Noemie Fox (NSW) – 30th

Women’s K1
Jessica Fox (NSW) – 2nd
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW) – 33rd
Noemie Fox (NSW) – 48th

Men’s C1
Ian Borrows (NSW) – 23rd
Tristan Carter (VIC) – 27th
Daniel Watkins (TAS) – 41st

Men’s K1
Lucien Delfour (NSW) – 8th
Tim Anderson (NSW) – 17th
Daniel Watkins (TAS) – – 81

Results Team Events (Wed, 25th September 2019)
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 Delfour, Daniel Watkins: 8th