Teenage Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox finished the 2013 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Series in Europe as overall women’s canoe single (C1) champion and women’s kayak single (K1) runner-up — but she said there is still plenty of room for improvement.
In round four of the five-round competition held in the Tacen course in Ljubljana, Slovenia in mid-August, the former Blaxland High School student was just aiming to accumulate more championship points but ended up
becoming the first female athlete to win the C1 and K1 events in the same World Cup meet.
The 19-year-old Leonay resident comfortably qualified for the women’s C1 final and edged eventual runner-up Corinna Kuhnle by 0.34 seconds to win gold.
The women’s K1 event was a complete contrast, with luck playing as much a role as skill and effort in the end.
Fox finished well behind fellow Aussie Rosalyn Lawrence, 24, who appeared to clinch gold in the final but officials decided the water level was too low (due to an earlier power outage at the Tacen white water championship course) and the final had to be re-run.
In the ‘second’ final, Fox powered away and made no major errors, finishing first, 10.29 seconds ahead of Lawrence.
Last weekend in the fifth and final round of the World Cup Series in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, she secured her place on top of the women’s C1 championship series ladder by
winning the final by a whopping 11.97 seconds ahead of Czech Katerina Hoskova after an almost mistake-free paddle.
It gave her a combined series total of 295 points, 61 points ahead of Hoskova and 118 points in front of fellow Aussie Rosalyn Lawrence.
The fifth round women’s K1 final was not so great for Fox, who after comfortably qualifying for the final in fourth position, accumulated 56 penalty points for errors, finishing ninth for the meet.
She finished second overall in the women’s C1 behind Slovak Jana Dukatova and just ahead of third place-getter Jasmin Schornberg from Germany.
Fox finished her 2013 World Cup series with an impressive total of five golds (four in C1) and one silver.
“I’ve raced a lot so far this season with the aim of increasing my racing experience,” Fox said on Sunday.
“There were some good runs and bad runs and I still have much to learn.”
Fox will now make her way to Prague to prepare for the World Championships to be held there from September 11-15.