Australia’s Jessica Fox overcame the most nerves she has ever experienced in her athletic career to win the first ever women’s canoe slalom Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Thursday.

Fox had hopes of winning both the women’s kayak and canoe gold in Japan, and after settling for bronze in the kayak on Tuesday, had to endure 48 hours of stress and worry before triumphing in style on Thursday.

Fox was the last paddler on the course, with Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin sitting at the finish line in the gold medal position with a time of 108.68.

“I’ve definitely felt that load and the pressure, and there was a lot of relief at the finish line today,” Fox said.

“I’ve probably never been as nervous as I was today. Twenty minutes before my race, even though I felt good, and felt calm, I had a small lolly and I instantly went and threw up. That has never happened to me before, and I think it showed how full-on it was today.

“I’m just so proud that I was able to come around and do the run that I wanted to.”

Fox finished her run error-free and in 105.04, a time that would have placed her sixth in the men’s canoe final earlier in the week. The time was also faster than the winning time in the women’s kayak final on Tuesday. Kayak times are almost always faster than canoe.

Fox now has four Olympic medals - bronze in the kayak from this week and Rio in 2016, silver in the kayak in London, and Thursday's gold. No other female paddler has won more than three individual Olympic medals, and Fox becomes the first athlete to win two individual medals at a single Games.

Jess' pre-race routine obviously worked today

Franklin said she was honoured to win the first Olympic silver medal in women’s canoe, and that waiting on the finish line for the remaining paddlers to finish had been almost unbearable.

“I feel massively relieved, it’s so stressful the whole environment,” Franklin said.

“It’s a really stressful situation to be sitting there and watching some really good paddlers come through and not know what was going to happen.

“The number of silver medals I have behind her is pretty ridiculous. She did an amazing run, to be able to bounce back and produce something like that, she’s an amazing paddler and of course I don’t mind coming second to her, I did my best, I did a really good run, and she was better than that.”

It's obvious now why Mallory is happy Women's Canoe is in the Olympics and she has so much repect for Jess

Andrea Herzog continued Germany’s medal-winning streak in Tokyo, picking up the bronze in a time of 111.13.

“This is completely unbelievable for me, it was always my dream to win a medal here and now it has come true,” Herzog said.

“This is such a huge moment in history for us, and I think all the little girls in Germany will look at what I did here.”

No need to hope to medal anymore Andrea, you did it!



  1. FOX Jessica (AUS) 105.04 (0 seconds penalties)
  2. FRANKLIN Mallory (GBR) 108.68 (2)
  3. HERZOG Andrea (GER) 111.13 (2)

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Australia Jessica Fox C1 celebrate Tokyo Olympics

Canoe Slalom