Jessica Fox (AUS) and Jiri Prskavec (CZE) have been crowned kayak champions on the second day of competition at the 2024 Canoe Slalom Oceania Championships.
Fox added another Oceania title to her trophy cabinet after a sensational final run saw her cross the line in a time of 101.09 seconds ahead of silver medalist Klaudia Zwolinska (POL) and bronze medalist Noemie Fox (AUS).
“It is nice to be back racing in the Oceania Champs and be back racing our domestic season with internationals,” Fox said.
“We love sharing the water with our international friends that train and race here.
“I am feeling good and feeling like everything is going to plan, but we are only just starting our preparation for the year.
“The C1 (canoe semis and finals) and the Kayak Cross racing is tomorrow, so it is going to be a big day and then we have Australian Open next week,” she said.
In the men’s final, Czech Republic’s Jiri Prskavec showed why he is the reigning world and Olympic champion, clocking a time of 92.66 seconds to finish first.
“I didn’t have a very good run in the semi final…I finished my run more tired in the semi final than I did in the final,” Prskavec said.
“I was really hoping to put it all together in the final which I did, I had one slight touch but it was a win after a long time in Australia which I am very happy with.
“This is one of my favourite courses and Australia is my second home coming here again after four years, it’s really nice. I also have my family here with me and we are enjoying an Australian summer, it is beautiful,” he said.
Australian Tim Anderson was crowned the Oceania champion, finishing in joint fourth place with Martin Dogoud (FRA).
“I mean I left a little bit in the tank, I probably could have attacked it a bit more than I did, but it is great to get three clean runs (heats, semis and finals),” Anderson said.
“I am really happy with the consistency, I was really happy to be up there with the best this weekend,” he said.
Anderson said it is great to welcome the world’s best paddlers to Penrith, especially in the lead up to the 2025 Canoe Slalom World Championships.
“It’s awesome to have some of the best in the world here,” Anderson said.
“We missed it over the last couple of years, it really lifts the standards of the local paddlers and puts pressure on making it through each progression,” he said.
Today’s result puts Anderson in the strongest possible position for nomination to the Australian Olympic Team for his first Olympic Games. Selectors will nominate the final team following next week’s 2024 Canoe Slalom Australian Open.
“It’s awesome… I can’t explain how good it feels to have the pressure off,” Anderson said.
“I can really attack the racing next weekend knowing I am in really good position.
“It’s really difficult to think about the task you have at hand and to do the best run you can, rather than the outside factors. So I’m really happy with today,” he said.
Racing will return to Penrith’s Whitewater Stadium tomorrow for the Canoe heats and finals, where the Oceania quota for men’s canoe will be decided.