Noemie follows in famous Fox footsteps10 October 2012
At the London Olympics, Fox became a household name in Australian sport when 18-year-old Jessica Fox soared to an unexpected silver medal in the canoe slalom.
Back on the rapids at the NSW Championships on the weekend, Jessica cruised to victory in the C1 and K1 events on both days of competition, but she wasn’t the only Fox to watch.
It was younger sister Noemie who was on show as she looked to secure her spot at next year’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).
Before tasting success in London, Jessica struck gold at the 2009 AYOF and 2010 Youth Olympics, proving the AYOF is a real launching pad for tomorrow’s Olympians.
“For Jess, the Youth Festival and Youth Olympics have been important milestones along the Olympic pathway,” said her father Richard Fox, Canoeing Australia’s National Performance Director.
“The AYOF in 2009 was Jess' first international race and the YOG in Singapore 2010 was a very worthwhile experience ahead of the London Games. Now our next wave of Aussie juniors will have a chance to race against some world class opposition and I am sure the experience will be an inspiration in the way it has been for others.”
Showing signs of a bright future for the young paddler, Noemie posted top five results in both senior C1 and K1 events across the two days of racing at the Penrith Whitewater course. Her best result came in the C1 on Sunday, where she finished second behind her sister with a blistering best time of 123.32 with no penalties.
The 15-year-old earned automatic selection to both the C1 and K1 events by finishing first and second respectively on points after the two selection events.
Fox is one of five young women to be selected for the Festival, with Maggie Webster from Victoria and Kate Eckhardt from Tasmania also earning automatic qualification in the K1 and C1 respectively.
Like Fox, the name Eckhardt is well-known in slalom circles with Peter Eckhardt competing in the C1 at the Barcelona 1992 Games. His daughter Kate, 15, will be joined at the AYOF by her older brother Andrew, an experienced young paddler who won silver this year at the Junior World Championships alongside his teammates Tim Anderson and Daniel Watkins.
With such fine pedigree and emerging talent, the future for Australian slalom is strong and the AYOF will be the perfect platform for these young athletes to kick start their Olympic journeys.
“We have seen that the Olympic association is a very powerful and motivating force for young people,” Richard Fox said.
“Most athletes will never get to race at the Games and so the youth events are a real incentive providing a small taste of the real deal and a great opportunity to race in a multi sport environment. The Aussie team is a good mix of bright young athletes.
“Noemie has worked hard since returning home from watching and supporting Jess at the Olympics and, like the other kids, is enjoying the training, racing and team environment, which is the main thing at a young age,” Fox said.
The AYOF will take place from 16 – 20 January 2013. There will be upwards of 1700 athletes from 30 countries, competing across 17 sports. Canoe/kayak slalom will take place at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium.
The Australian team for canoe/kayak slalom at the 2013 AYOF:
Tim Anderson (VIC)
Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Andrew Eckhardt (TAS)
Steven Lowther (WA)
Ben Pope (WA)
Maggie Webster (VIC)
Noemie Fox (NSW)
Kate Eckhardt (TAS)
Georgia Rankin (WA)
Erin McGilvray (TAS)