Olympic gold medalist Jessica Fox and two-time Olympian Lucien Delfour were crowned champions in the kayaking final at the Australian Open canoe slalom at Penrith Whitewater Stadium.
This is the second win of 2022 for the pair, having won the kayak final at the recent ICF Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships.
With national team selection on the line, Fox and Delfour were eager to impress, and both put on a solid final run to finish first.
Fox said she enjoyed paddling a tougher course in the semis and finals.
“It was a very tough course, compared to yesterday (innings)…very physical,” Fox said.
“It was about 10 seconds slower than yesterday, and I really felt it in the arms.
“But alas, I’m happy with the victory,” she said.
Fox will also paddle in Sunday’s canoe semifinals where she is focused on another gold medal.
Delfour also enjoyed the challenge of a more demanding course, and was relieved to have been able to put together a good course for the final.
“I can’t remember the last time we had such a difficult course – not necessarily that the moves were difficult, but it was a combination of everything together,” Delfour said.
“There were only a few sections you could navigate, but otherwise in every gate you had to maintain good control, and that’s pretty exhausting.
“I was really happy that I improved from the heats to the semis and then from the semis to the final because that’s what you always want to do,” he said.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Delfour was excited to return to extreme canoe slalom racing, a discipline he hasn’t really raced.
“I only started racing Extreme last year in Pau (France) after the Olympics,” said Delfour.
Racing returns to Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Sunday with the men’s and women’s canoe semi-finals and final and the extreme canoe slalom.
Australian Associated Press