Canoe: Jess Fox going for gold

Records beckon for Fox at ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships
Jessica Fox in action © Brett Hemmings
By Josh Rakic

The Rugby World Cup gets under way in England next week but before the Wallabies begin their campaign, there’s another Australian who’s arrived in town determined to fly the green and gold - reigning canoe and kayak world champ Jess Fox.

Fox arrived in London earlier this week in anticipation of arguably the biggest challenge of the 21-year-old’s career - defending her C1 and K1 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships from September 16. The Penrith product is already one of the youngest medal winners in Australian Olympic history, having secured silver on this very course at the 2012 London Games as a teenager. And last year, she became the first female in international canoe racing history to claim both the C1 and K1 titles at the same event and hold them concurrently.

If that weren’t enough, she also took victory in both categories in the Under-23 World Championships. But those successes only painted a target squarely on her back, Fox enduring her toughest season yet this year in the kayak at least, as unlucky penalties and more desperate competition narrowly cost her gold at both the Under-23 Champs and the World Cup series. She still podiumed. But those narrow losses have given her more motivation than ever to reclaim the kayak throne at the circuit that made her an international name.

So far as the canoe goes however, Fox has been near unstoppable, having defended her Under-23 C1 title in Brazil and claimed overall victory at the recent World Cup series. Should she defend both the C1 and K1 next week in England, Fox would become the first woman in history do so, making her far and away the most successful 21-year-old the sport has ever seen.

Just take a minute to think about that - she’s 21 and already a multiple world champion and Olympic medallist. Some 300 athletes from 55 countries will contest the event, which also doubles as the qualifying contest for Rio 2016. Meaning victory would be all the more sweeter for Fox, whose possible triumph would secure her as an Olympic favourite. Only injury would prevent Fox’s inclusion on the Australian Olympic Team, the Penrith paddler far and away the most dominant in Australia and recently announced an IOC ambassador. She’s also one of Australia’s best gold medal prospects, so expect sports pundits and rivals to keep a close eye on her at the event.

Want to experience the best of on the move? Get the app at

read more about
Next Story