NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder Jessica Fox has celebrated a birthday gold medal in the Women’s K1 at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Prague on Saturday.
Jessica, who turned 28 on Saturday, said it was nice to return to the top of the K1 podium after winning bronze at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, and missing the final at the 2021 World Championships.
“It was challenging with the world championships, and with the Olympics winning bronze, but I won the overall world cup title in the kayak, so I knew it was there, I just had to pull it out in those runs,” Jessica said.
“To do that today was awesome, I felt really good and really happy with how I delivered after that early mistake.
“I told myself to have a good start, be safe, and straight away I smash gate two. From there I just had to try and lift and push, and I made a little mistake in the middle, but I had an excellent bottom and I really gave it everything at the finish line. And I’m still stuffed.”
Reigning world champion Elena Lilik from Germany took the silver, with France’s Camille Prigent, one of only two athletes in the women’s final not to register a penalty, finished third.
Jessica has now won 36 world cup gold medals in her career. She will compete again on Sunday for medals in her Olympic gold medal event, the C1, as well as in the new Olympic discipline for Paris 2024, the Extreme Kayak.
The following day, the entire slalom team had a tough day on the C1 course, as the team struggled to advance beyond the semifinals, after three months of no white-water training at home due to flooding and water contamination at the Penrith White Water Stadium.
After what she has called a “rusty start” to the event, placing 26th in the C1 and 32nd in the K1, Noemie Fox qualified for the final of the Women’s Extreme Kayak, finishing fourth.
She narrowly missed out on a spot on the podium, behind local favourite Tereza Fiserova, Poland’s Klaudia Zwolinska and Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin.
“This Extreme Kayak was quite intense, dusting off a lot of cobwebs for sure, but it was really cool to be able to make that final and battle it out from start to finish,” Noemie said.
“It’s such a fun course in Prague with so many features to use. It’s been a while since we’ve been on the extreme ramps and coming from three months of no white water, it’s been a hard snap back to reality but I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
When looking back on the weekend with its highs and lows, Noemie said she’ll be more prepared for the upcoming events.
“I was definitely a little bit rusty this weekend, but I feel like I got [the first event] out of the way and now I know what to work on for Krakow and then Tacen, and most importantly the World Championships.
“So three disciplines, three chances – the more you do, the more chances you get to succeed,” she said.
Article and image courtesy of Paddle Australia