AUSTRALIAN canoeist Jessica Fox has continued her dominance on the world stage, adding the C1 world championship to her already impressive trophy cabinet, after a stellar performance in the Czech Republic on the weekend.
The 19-year-old – who was the favourite going into the event, having won four world cups and the under-23 championship over the past few months – said taking out the world title was as good as winning an Olympic medal.
“The Olympics is the pinnacle, but for me, winning the C1 is a big achievement because I was the favourite,” Fox said.
“This was the last one, the big one. You want to put it out there and do the best you can. I just had to get the butterflies into formation.”
Fox’s semifinal run was far from convincing by her standards, incurring six seconds in penalties, but still quick enough to qualify fastest.
Despite the added pressure of being the hot favourite, the Sydneysider then blitzed the field in the final event, winning by a staggering 13 seconds.
“I finished and I couldn’t feel my arms, I couldn’t even paddle up to the interview platform, so I definitely gave it all I had,” said Fox.
“Does a world title make all the long training sessions and the early mornings worthwhile? It definitely does!”
Unfortunately Fox couldn’t maintain her remarkable form in the K1 event, failing to qualify for the final after finishing in 18th place in the semifinal stage.
She is now lobbying for C1 to be included as an official Olympic event at the next Games in Rio; however, International Canoe Federation secretary general Simon Toulson said he was “99 per cent certain” it would not be included in Rio in 2016, but could feature in Tokyo in 2020.
Photo: David Merrett