Fox and Florence flash form

Two-time Olympic medallist Jessica Fox has posted one of her best runs ever on her local Penrith course to win the women’s K1 canoe slalom gold, and double World Champion David Florence has reminded the paddling world of his class, on the final day of the Australian Open in Penrith.

Fox was able to secure the K1/C1 double on her home course, while Florence bounced back after only sneaking into the final in last place to blow away a world-class C1 field.

Despite picking up an early two second penalty for a gate touch, Fox sizzled through the back half of the course to post a time of 96:56 seconds, six seconds ahead of Czech World Champion Katerina Kudejova, with Olympic silver medallist, Luuka Jones of New Zealand, 0:58 further back in third place.

“I think that was one of my best runs on this course to date,” Fox said.

“I think having done the C1 yesterday motivated me a bit. It’s always a physical demand on your body, and emotionally, when you are doing two events.

“This was a good field. There was a lot at stake, so I was happy to race freely and attack it the way the men paddle.”

In the men’s C1, veteran David Florence almost missed making the final, but scraped in as the last qualifier and then set a cracking 95:78 which proved too much for the rest of the field to catch.

Florence, the two-time World Champion, took the gold from fellow Great Britain paddler, Ryan Westley, with Slovakia’s Olympic silver medallist, Matus Benuj, finishing third.

“I didn’t think my run in the semi was going to be enough, but I was lucky to scrape into the final in tenth, and then the clock resets,” he said.

“Some guys probably paddled better than me over the weekend, but I’m really pleased that I put down a good run in the end.

“It’s really reassuring. I’ve been here maybe ten times, but I’ve never won an Australian Open, so it’s fantastic to finally get on top of the podium.”

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Photo by Delly Carr


Canoe Slalom