Fox prepared for tough test

Published 6 August 2016 (AEDT)

Jessica Fox tests out the Rio course. © 2016 Getty Images

CANOE SLALOM: If Jessica Fox is feeling the pressure heading into the canoe slalom competition, she isn’t showing it.

The 20-year-old was one of the first of the Australian athletes to check into the Village and has had almost a fortnight of solid practice on the picturesque Whitewater course at Deodoro.

‘The Silver Fox’, as she became known after her silver medal in London, is the standard bearer for the sport in Australia, but she is acutely aware that in a sport that combines fine technical detail and sheer speed, anything can go wrong.

“This is a narrower course than some of the ones we race on, but it’s good and there’ll be some good racing,” Fox said.

“I’m sure they’ll make the gates tough right at the bottom, which is when you are tired, the lactic acid is burning in and you’re most likely to make a mistake.

“This course also means you have to be really adaptable. Some people like to go out and plan every stroke but I like to feel my way through and be able to respond quickly to the circumstances.”

The favourite tag is something Fox is comfortable with, although she believes her event, the K1, is wide open.

“What you are going to see in this event is a number of paddlers who have had absolutely their best preparation,” Fox said.

“The fact that some people are calling me favourite means that I’ve been having good results and that’s just a part of racing.”

Fox will be joined by Ian Borrows (C1) and Lucien Delfour (K1) in the canoe slalom competition, with both men in action on Sunday, 7 August. Fox first takes to the course on Monday, 8 August.

Damian Kelly
olympics.com.au

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