Fox, Delfour crowned Aust kayak champions

February 27, 2022 by AAP
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Olympic gold medallist Jessica Fox and dual Olympian Lucien Delfour have been crowned champions in the kayak finals at the Canoe Slalom Australian Open at Penrith Whitewater Stadium.

Olympic gold medalist Jessica Fox competing at the 2022 Canoe Slalom Australian Open at Penrith Whitewater Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, February 26, 2022. (AAP Image/Supplied by Paddle Australia, JGR Images)

It is the second win in 2022 for the duo, having taken out the kayak finals at the recent ICF Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships.

With national team selection on the line, Fox and Delfour were eager to impress, and both strung together a strong final run to finish first.

Fox said she enjoyed paddling a more challenging course in both the semi and the final.

“It was a very challenging course, compared to yesterday (heats) … very physical,” Fox said.

“It was about 10 seconds slower than yesterday, and I definitely felt it in the arms.

“But I’m happy with the win,” she said.

Fox will also paddle in Sunday’s canoe semis 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 run for the final.

“I can’t remember the last time we had a course that challenging – not necessarily that the moves were hard, but it was a combination of all of them put together,” Delfour said.

“There were only a couple of sections where you could cruise through, but otherwise in every single gate you had to maintain a fair amount of control, and that’s quite draining.

I was really happy to have improved from the heats to the semis, and then again 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 get back to racing Extreme Canoe Slalom, a discipline he hasn’t really raced much.

“I only started racing Extreme last year in Pau (France) after the Olympic Games,” Delfour said.

Racing will return to Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Sunday with the men’s and women’s canoe semis and final, and Extreme Canoe Slalom.

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