Jess Fox wins two birthday golds in Prague

Jessica Fox Wins the WC1 event in Prague at World Cup #2 .  Photos supplied by Paddle Australia

JESSICA Fox has continued to go from strength to strength in World Cup events, winning back-to-back gold medals at the 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup #2, held in Prague, Czech Republic over the 9-11 June.

Jess started the weekend off in style with a win in the Women’s Kayak Final (WK1) on Friday, before backing it up to claim her second gold medal in the Women’s Canoe Final on Saturday.

On the eve of her 29th birthday, Jess started the WC1 Final as the 4th-fastest paddler, and set a very competitive time of 109.13s. The three fastest qualifiers from the semi-finals could not subsequently match Jess’ performance, with Andora’s Monica Doria Vilarrubla finished second and Czech paddler Gabriela Satkova in third on her home course.

“I’m so happy, it was a really tight final,” said Jess. “Gabi and Monica both put down really good runs, so it was so close at the finish. But I’m so pleased to take the win today. It’s a great way to start the season. Obviously last week I had an amazing race in Augsburg, and I wanted to try and back that up this weekend.

“Yesterday (WK1) took a lot out of me, both mentally and physically, so to just put it out there again today is awesome. 

“I’m really grateful to be here back in Prague and to all the fans who are out there even in the rain…thank you to everyone.”

Jess’ earlier win in the WK1 had showcased her prowess as the world’s greatest-ever canoe slalom athlete, taking the Gold medal in rare style by posting a time of 98.95, the only female paddler to go under 100 seconds.

“It was really special,” said Jess. “I love racing in Prague, the atmosphere is like nowhere else and I was feeling really good this week.

“I won the heats, I won the semis, so I thought to go out and put down a run to be proud of, to try and attack it, and it turned out pretty well. I really challenged myself to push the limits.

“I thought I could go under 100. There are so many moves on that course that are really tricky, and a lot of things had to go to plan for me to go under 100. Last week I was really frustrated not to make the (WK1) Final, after making a silly mistake, so I really wanted to put down some good paddling.”

Lucien Delfour finished 8th in the MK1, following on his 4th in the event the previous week at Augsburg.

The two gold medals in Prague takes Jess’ medal tally so far this season to three gold, with three World Cup events still to come, starting in Tacen, Slovenia (15-18 June), La Seu, Spain (31 August – 3 September) and Paris, France (5-8 October)