Australia’s Jessica Fox can be considered a double-gold prospect for Tokyo while Slovakia’s Jakub Grigar posted his first ever world cup win on a day of hot competition at the ICF canoe slalom competition in Markkleeberg on Saturday.

Fox dominated the women’s C1 event at last week’s ICF world cup in Prague, and followed up with a swashbuckling performance in the K1 in Germany on Saturday. Grigar also sent out a warning to his Tokyo opponents with a two-second victory in the men’s K1.

Fox finished an incredible 3.52 seconds ahead of Germany’s Ricarda Funk, with another German, Elena Apel, in third. It was Apel's first ever senior world cup medal. All three athletes picked up a two-second penalty for a gate touch on the challenging course, and Fox also had to overcome an early mistake.

“The whole top section I felt like I was losing a bit of time, so I really had to pull it out at the bottom and really attack it and go for the tight lines, so I’m so happy to have pulled that off,” Fox said.

“It’s been a great start to the world cup campaign, and now the countdown to Tokyo is well and truly underway, 34 days to go, it will come around really quickly.

“This one will be different, the experience will be a little bit different, and being able to compete in two different events will feel very different, so I’m really excited to get there and to have that opportunity to race in C1 is so special, and to share that with all the girls that have qualified.”

24-year-old Grigar has won both the ICF junior and U23 world titles two times, but has struggled to make his mark in senior competition. On Saturday he was easily the fastest paddler in the semi-final, and then carried that form into the final with an error-free run.

He finished 2.01 seconds ahead of Austria’s Felix Oschmautz, who won his first world cup medal on the eve of his Olympic debut, with France’s Boris Neveu third.

“I’m so happy it worked out today, because I didn’t really feel in the best shape, it’s my first win at a senior world cup so I’m so happy,” Grigar said.

“It’s been really hard, and I think my biggest mistake was I always wanted to win so much. I just had to realise that sometimes you had to push less to be faster, and in the last eight months I’ve just been pushing really hard in the training and less in the races, and it seems to be working out.

“I’m the type of person that when I’m on the start line I can’t think about winning, I have to be in the right place, and it was really hard for me. So now I’m really happy that it’s become quite easy for me.”

The second ICF canoe slalom world cup in Markkleeberg finishes on Sunday, with semi-finals and finals in the men’s and women’s C1 and the extreme slalom.



  1. FOX Jessica (AUS) 096.76  (2 seconds in penalties)
  2. FUNK Ricarda (GER) 100.28  (2)
  3. APEL Elena (GER) 103.00  (2)


  1. GRIGAR Jakub (SVK)  91  (0)
  2. OSCHMAUTZ Felix (AUT) 90.92 (2)
  3. NEVEU Boris (FRA) 91.86  (2)

Pics by Bence Vekassy

2021 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Markkleeberg Jessica FOX Australia

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