Noemie Fox contests the women's kayak cross at the World Cup in Prague and qualifies an Olympic quota place.

Noemie Fox has delivered a fairytale finish at the ICF World Cup in Prague to earn Australia an Olympic quota spot in the Kayak Cross and all but sure up her place in the Australian Olympic Team in Paris. 

In back to back racing on the final day of competition, Fox was nothing short of impressive, having to compete in five races before booking a spot in the final where she staged a stunning come from behind performance to take the silver medal. 

With only three quota spots on offer in the new Olympic discipline of Kayak Cross, the stakes couldn’t have been higher. 

But Fox, a seasoned professional, held her nerve and executed her game plan perfectly to put her in the frame to qualify for her first Olympic Games alongside sister Jess Fox. 

An emotional Fox understood the enormity of her achievement following the race and was eager to savour the moment.  

“It’s been such a long day… I’ve gone through step by step, go through the time trial, go through the first round… the goal was to do the most rounds possible and end up in the final and end up on the podium.  

“It’s been such a long journey and I feel so grateful to have had the most incredible support team here with me and to be able to celebrate it and join the Australian Olympic team, and join my sister, it’s so incredible and I’m so happy. 

Noemie Fox

“The semi final with the reigning World Champion, past World Champion and European medalist was probably the hardest thing.  So once I got through that and I was in the final, I was just wanting to enjoy it and not come last, and that’s what I did. 

“Paris has always been a distant dream and one that I wanted to latch onto, while staying a little bit rational knowing that there were so many steps to get to this day and where we are. I think [Paris] it’s going to feel a bit like a home Olympics, being half French and with such a huge family and fan base in France.

“To be able to line up with Jess as well and the other two Australians Tristan [Carter] and Tim [Anderson] it’s just going to be so incredible and I can’t wait to start thinking about that journey,” she said. 

Like her sister Jess, Noemie has been coached by her mum Myrim who competed for France at the Olympics in canoe slalom. Myrim, on the sidelines in her canoe and kayak coaching role, couldn’t hold back her excitement when she realised she would have her two daughters competing for Australia at the Olympics. 

“I feel ecstatic. It’s a dream, it’s like an Olympic gold for me to have two girls at the Olympics. It’s a dream come true for Noemie. She’s been working hard and Pierre [Coach] had a good strategy preparing for today… I’m just so happy,” she said.

Paddle Australia Kayak Cross Coach, Titouan Dupras, said Noemie’s preparation for this one day of racing has been well over a year in the making. 

“She has been dreaming about this day [of competition] for a year, she didn’t race in London [World Championships] just to get ready for this race. And she did it!

“It’s a mentally draining day because she started at 9am this morning and it’s nearly 4pm now, and she spent all day doing run after run and making her way through to the final. It’s amazing,” he said. 

From here, Paddle Australia will nominate Noemie in the Kayak Cross to the Australian Olympic Committee, with selection to be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

Article and Image courtesy of Paddle Australia

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