|Australia’s Jessica Fox turned on a masterclass of canoe slalom paddling on Friday to qualify quickest for this weekend’s ICF world championship semi-finals in La Seu, Spain.
The world championships are also doubling as a qualifying event for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, but final quota allocations will not be decided until after Sunday’s semi-finals.
Fox, a four-time C1 world champion and favourite for Olympic gold when the discipline makes its debut next year, delivered close to the perfect run to finish quickest in Friday’s heats. 24 hours earlier the two-time Olympian also locked away a quota for Australia in the K1.
“Smooth and tidy, that was the goal for that run,” Fox said.
“I knew that it was challenging from yesterday, having done it in kayak, I knew it was a challenging course. In C1 I almost felt like it was easier, I was on the top of the water a bit more and it felt quite nice.
“It’s an added layer of pressure to qualify the quotas for the country. I actually didn’t expect it to happen on qualification day, so it’s nice to have that job done and now I can focus on those semi-finals.”
Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin once again showed she is a major threat to Fox, picking up four seconds in penalties but still finishing only 1.90 seconds behind the Australian. Teammate Kimberley Woods, who is involved in a tight tussle with Franklin for the one available GB quota place, was third fastest.