“JESSICA Fox is one step closer to London Olympic selection after winning the gold medal in the Women’s C1 final today at the Slalom Australian Open at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium.
After taking silver in the Women’s K1 yesterday, the 17-year-old from Sydney’s western suburbs, destroyed her rivals today, winning by a stunning 18.93 seconds over second placed Katerina Macova of Slovakia.
Fellow Sydney paddler Ros Lawrence recovered from a disastrous performance yesterday in the Women’s K1 semifinal when she rolled her boat, to take the bronze medal.
Lawrence was followed in the standings by Victoria’s Leanne Guinea, with Alison Borrows (NSW) in 5th, Georgia Rankin (NSW) 6th, Margaret Webster (VIC) 8th and Erin McGilvray (TAS) 10th.
Fox admitted the margin of her win had taken her by surprise.
“I was pretty shocked by (my time),” an elated Fox said.
She said her performances in the C1 were always tempered by the fact it was not an Olympic event.
“It’s disappointing the C1 is not an Olympic sport in London, hopefully it will be added to the program for Rio de Janeiro in four years time.”
Fox will now focus on the kayak slalom at the the Oceania Open in two weeks time.
“There are still two more selection races to determine who’s going (to London),” she said.
In the men’s C1, Germany’s Sebastian Schubert claimed the gold medal, taking the prized scalp of Slovenian world champion Peter Kauzer in the process.
Schubert was “on song” from the moment he left the start gate, to take the final by 1.29 seconds.
Australia’s Lucien Delfour finished in a respectable sixth place in the star studded field to solidify his claim on a place in the Australian team to compete in the World Cup circuit in Europe in the lead up to the London Olympics in July.
“I’m a bit disappointed. I just wanted to be faster,” said Delfour.
“At the end of the day I got two clean runs so I guess its not that bad.
“I’ve still got the Oceania Open in two weeks time in which I’ve got to make the final again to keep my name in front of the Olympic selectors.”
But Delfour won’t have it all his own way at the Oceania qualifiers where he’ll again come up against Schubert.
“I’m really happy with my run,” Schubert said.
“I didn’t prepare anything special for the race, I trained as I always do.”
Schubert’s next target is his own country’s Olympic qualifying regatta at the end of April.
Former world champion and dual Olympic medallist Fabien Lefevre of France finished out of the medals after missing a gate, and incurring a 50 second penalty.
From The Australian”
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