Tristan Carter and Jess Fox have been crowned C1 champions at the 2024 Canoe Slalom Australian Open after an epic day at Penrith’s Whitewater Stadium.
With only four days to recoup from last weekend’s Oceania Championships, the athletes were primed for another huge weekend of racing, with more than 20 nations heading down under for the annual event.
The athletes were pushed to the limits, with today’s program mimicking that of the Olympics, both the semi and final run in close proximity.
Fox said it was a good chance to get a lot of competition practice in before heading overseas for the international season.
“It’s different having back-to-back races. It almost feels like we’re on the World Cup tour moving week-to-week with a race each weekend,” Fox said.
“It’s just about feeling fresh, staying fresh in between and having a little bit of time to decompress and then get back into the zone.
“Today was a different format. We had a heat straight into the finals so that was an interesting experience.
“It was a good race, I’m happy with my racing and like I said last week it’s a great opportunity to race with international athletes,” she said.
Victorian Tristan Carter was crowned the men’s canoe champion, after a thrilling final provided fans with good viewing.
Carter said it was great to have the back-to-back racing, giving them the chance to prepare for two weekends of racing similar to that of the World Cup season.
“After not quite having the result I wanted last week I was sitting at home stressing and trying not to stress. It’s a lot to battle with in your own head. How I’m feeling right now, to say it’s different (to last week) is an understatement,” Carter said.
“I kind of like it (the format). If it’s a little bit further apart it just drags out the thinking. I don’t mind that it’s back-to-back because then you can just get it over and done with in two weekends.
“Getting up to the start I was literally shaking and I’ve never felt like that before but I knew I can do it and I did it and that makes me so happy,” he said.
Today’s result puts Carter in pole position for nomination to the Australian Olympic Team for his first Olympic Games. Selectors will nominate the final team in the coming days.
“When you’re a child and you get into sport, you learn there is an Olympic Games and you learn what it’s about and I think from that moment it’s every kid’s dream to be sitting at the start line of whatever event you’re in, racing for your country at the Olympic Games,” Carter said.
Fellow Aussie Kaylen Bassett also finished on the podium in the men’s canoe final, winning bronze.
“Backing up after last week was a bit of a journey, I didn’t make the final after a pretty basic mistake,” Bassett said.
“To not only back it up but put down some good runs was great.
“Having the internationals come out to Australia is a really good test for the start of the year to see where you are compared to the world’s best.
“It feels nice to have a home race. We’ve got the World Championships coming up (in Penrith) next year but we don’t get too many home races so you kind of feel like you’ve got a little bit of home course advantage for once which is a really nice feeling,” he said.
Tomorrow all eyes will be on the kayak finals, with racing set to get underway at 9am AEDT.