Jess Fox opens 2024 World Cup Season with Gold

Jess Fox OAM and Tristan Carter (below) in action in Augsburg.  Photos supplied by Paddle Australia

Reigning World Cup Women’s Canoe (WC1) and Kayak (WK1) champion Jessica Fox OAM has experienced the highs and lows of her sport on the weekend, in the opening World Cup event of the season in Augsburg (GER), over 30 May – 2 June.

Jessica had a disappointing WK1 final on Friday, where she initially missed a gate, before going back to pass correctly, ultimately finishing the Final in 9th position.

She then put in a scratchy semi-final in the Women’s Canoe (WC1), which saw her only just scrape into the Final.

All of that was enough to inspire the World and Olympic champion, who overcame an early gate touch to then put in a perfect run take gold in the Final, by more than eight seconds from her nearest competitor.

“I’m just so relieved to finally put down a good run,” Jess said.

“It’s been a tough weekend, it’s been wet and harsh, I’ve been trying to manage the nerves that come with the first World Cup of the season, but now I’m thrilled to be back on the podium, and to be on the top step.

“It was a tough course, Augsburg is always challenging, so I just really had to keep it together.”

Spain’s Nuria Vilarrubla picked up the silver, with Andorra’s Monica Doria taking the bronze.

Australian Tristan Carter made the Final of the Men’s Canoe (MC1), finishing in a highly creditable 6th spot, just 5.85 seconds behind the winner, Ziga Lin Hocevar (Slovakia).

Many of the Australian squad will now head to Prague this weekend (7-9 June) for the ICF Kayak Cross Global Qualification competition.

The 2024 Paris Olympic Games will feature the Olympic debut of Men’s and Women’s Kayak Cross to the Canoe Slalom competition and three quota places per gender will be awarded during the ICF Kayak Cross Global Qualification competition.

The rest of the field in Paris will be formed by athletes who competed in the canoe singles and kayak singles events, within the limit of two athletes per NOC per event.

Since its debut at the Games at Munich 1972, Canoe Slalom has always included four events at the Games. Up until Rio 2016, those events were Men’s Canoe Singles (MC1), Men’s Kayak Singles (MK1), Women’s Kayak Singles (WK1) and Men’s Canoe Doubles (MC2), until the latter was substituted for Women’s Canoe Singles (WC1) at Tokyo 2020.

Only four World titles per gender have ever been awarded in the Kayak Cross event. Australian Jessica Fox OAM and Great Britain’s Joseph Clarke MBE are the only multiple gold medallists in the history of the event and will be among the favourites in Vaires-sur-Marne for the Paris 2024 competition.