Fox on fire again while Smolen shows he has what it takes

Jessica Fox continued her incredible run of success in the women’s C1, while American Michal Smolen showed once again his love for Sydney’s Penrith Whitewater Stadium on the final day of competition at the Oceania Championships.

The gold medal and Oceania Champion title continued Fox’s unbeaten run in the boat class she won five World Cups, the overall World Cup as well as World Championship gold in last year.

The world number one paddler showed her class finishing the challenging course and conditions in a time of 121.71 seconds, 6.48 seconds ahead of second placed team mate Ros Lawrence with both paddlers recording four seconds in penalties.

It also went some way towards compensating the Australian for the 50-second penalty she recorded 24 hours earlier in the women’s K1 final.

France’s 2018 World Championships team bronze medallist and former gold medallist at the Junior World Championships in Penrith in 2014, Lucie Prioux, finished third, 11.93 seconds behind.

“I’m happy but it was really hard,” Fox said.

“That course was long, it was windy, it was really physical and I had to really dig deep because I felt quite flat before starting. There were a couple of mistakes, I had two touches on the top and it definitely wasn’t perfect.

“I was a little bit surprised to see the number one next to my name, because obviously a few mistakes can cost you a lot, so I gave it everything out there.”

The men’s K1 was won by Smolen in 99.35 seconds and 0.61 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Jakub Grigar. France’s Boris Neveu finished third, 1.33 seconds behind.

“I think it was a little trickier than yesterday and the day before, but I think it was an exciting course,” Smolen said.

“I’ve raced here many times in the last ten years and this was one of my favourite races here. I knew that I had a really solid run and I knew also that anyone could challenge that because in there were a lot of fast guys in the top ten.

“I was just happy with my run and wasn’t too worried about the result in the end, but I was really happy that I was able to remain on the top. This is a really good start to the season for me and it means that I’m able to focus in the race and I’m just excited and looking forward to race in the world cups this summer.”

See Canoe Slalom Oceania Championships results here: http://bit.ly/19oceaniachampsresults

USA Michal Smolen K1 Penrith 2019

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