Olympic gold is up for grabs, says Fox


JESSICA FOX knows she can no longer slip under the Olympic radar.

Four years ago the Australian produced one of the surprises of the 2012 London Games as the teenager paddled to silver in the K1 event, outgunning all but one of her more experienced rivals.

Now 22, Fox has the weight of expectation as one of Australia’s top medal prospects.

She said: “I realise everything’s different for me now.

“Coming into London, I was 18 and had no expectations. I just wanted to reach that final and, in terms of Australia’s expectations, I was relatively unknown and a bit of a surprise medal. It wasn’t expected.

“This time round I’m a world champion and had some success internationally.”

Last year Fox won the under-23s world championships in K1 and then followed up by winning her third consecutive world championship gold in the C1. That event won’t feature in the Olympics for another four years wher Fix will be in her prime.

Fox, who secured Australia's single K1 canoe slalom spot, went on: “There is so much competition this year and it’s all so wide open.

“Of the top 10 women, any one of them has won a world event, could win a championship and could win an Olympic Games. We’re all quite good and competitive so in the end it comes down to the course that’s set on the day.”

Fox’s pedigree in should come as no major surprise. She has Olympic blood running through her veins having grown up on river.

Her parents are both former Olympians parents. Her dad Richard, the five-time world champion, finished fourth for Great Britain in the K1 at the 1992 Barcelona.

Her mother, Myriam, competed for France in Spain the same year and four years later it Atlanta, winning bronze in America. She is now her daughter’s coach.

Fox was born in Marseille in France, but moved Down Under when she was four after her dad was offered a job coaching the Australian kayaking team for the 2000 Olympics.

She comes from a Jewish background and while the family doesn’t observe all the traditions, they do celebrate events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs.

“The Jewish know how to throw a party and bring the family together. It’s a big part of my life.”

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