Jessica Fox has powered into the Olympic single kayak semi-final after overcoming a capsize at the Lee Valley White Water Centre on Monday night.
The former Blaxland High School student was the second of our Olympians to compete at the Games this week following cyclist Amanda Spratt’s disappointing result during a torrid women’s road race.
Fox’s focus will now turn to Thursday night’s (Australian time) semi-final and final.
The disastrous first run left her position in the next round in doubt but the 18-year-old showed impressive compsure on her second effort to qualify in fourth place with a score of 100.33.
“I was definitely really relieved to know that I could come back after such a terrible run and really put it together,” she said after the first round. “I was . . . happy that I was in fourth place, so that was a pretty good run and a good time but now I just have to focus on the semi-final.
“I was under a lot of pressure for the second run to bring it together but it [the capsize] was just a little mistake. Maybe it was just the nerves for the first run but I was happy to really pull it out for the second.”
Facing her own setbacks during the women’s road race, Spratt was unfortunately unable to recover, eventually crossing the line at the back of the pack with her Australian teammate Chloe Hosking. Dutch cyslist Marianne Vos eventually outsprinted British hope Elizabeth Armistead to claim the gold medal.
Treacherous weather and punctures did not help Spratt’s cause, but the Springwood cyclist said she was just unable to produce her best on the day.
“I knew from my recent performances in both Italy and Germany that I was capable of being competitive with the best best in the world on the toughest portions of the Olympic road course and so to fall well below this on the day is really disappointing,” Spratt said. “At the end of the day I just did not have good legs on Sunday, and unfortunately Sunday was my one chance at the 2012 Olympics.”
There is little time for a professional cyslist to dwell on a bad day and Spratt will be in Belgium this weekend competing with the Orica-AIS team. She is hoping the harsh lessons of London will benefit the inexperienced Australians in years to come.
“It is my first Olympics and the buzz and atmosphere here has been so much more than I ever could have imagined. Australia were the youngest team on the start line on Sunday and so I think, for all three of us, we will be able to look back on our experiences here and learn from them and then be really motivated and experienced for our next shot at Olympic gold in four years’ time.
Spratt is also looking forward to returning to London next week to march in the closing ceremony.