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Troubled waters for Aussies at Prague World Cup

19 June 2017

CANOE/KAYAK - SLALOM: Jessica Fox has described her feelings of anger and frustration as her chances of a medal at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup slipped away for a second day in Prague overnight.

The two-time Olympic medallist picked up another 50 second penalty for a missed gate in the women’s K1 final, just as she did in the semi-finals of the women’s C1 24 hours earlier.

Teammate Ros Lawrence also ran into trouble on the tricky Prague course, picking up three gate touches to finish in eighth pace, with Fox finishing tenth.

“Today I was really angry and frustrated with myself that I couldn’t get back into it,” Fox said.

“It’s something I just need to drill back into training and do some more hard moves, hard staggers. I am generally pretty consistent in my races and rarely have a big blow-out in the final.

“In the past, often if I’ve had a big mistake in the C1, the K1 the next day goes a bit better.”

Fox ran into trouble on the same gates that brought her undone 24 hours earlier, but said the problems from the C1 had not being playing on her mind in the K1 final.

“Today I was a bit disappointed,” she said.

“I felt good in the semi, and in the final I had an edging mistake, missed gate seven because of what I did in gates four and five.

“After that it was hard to get back into it. I didn’t feel like myself on the water."

Australia’s Lucien Delfour and Ros Lawrence put in brave performances the previous day but finished outside the medals in their respective finals in Prague.

Delfour was left fuming after picking up a two-second penalty which left him in fourth place in the men’s K1 final, while Lawrence’s chances of a podium in the women’s C1 evaporated when she picked up a 50 second penalty for a missed gate.

Without the two second penalty Delfour would have finished third behind Czechs Vit Prindis and Jiri Prskavec.

“I did what I could on the water, it was pretty windy, and I know I didn’t touch that gate,” he said.

"I had a look at the video, and I can’t see it. It’s just not there.”

Delfour was the quickest paddler in qualifying, and went into the final as the equal third fastest.

But he said he still knew winning a medal would be difficult.

“It’s always hard to race in Prague, it’s always so tight and the Czechs are always so sharp. So I knew I had to put down a good run, even though the conditions were quite hard today. But it just didn’t work out.”

Lawrence went into the C1 final as the fastest qualifier and the only Australian, after teammates Jessica and Noemie Fox and Kate Eckhardt all picked up 50 second penalties in the semi-finals.

Lawrence was also the only athlete in the semi-finals not to pick up any penalties, but in the final she struck early trouble, missing a gate and attracting an automatic 50-second penalty.

“Look I’m a bit disappointed about my final result,” Lawrence said.

“I guess the process was good, so I’ll work on that for next weekend and see what happens.

“I haven’t raced a lot of these girls internationally for a long time, so it was good to see that I’m still up there. I’ve got a brand new boat too that I’m not really used to, so it’s nice to know that I can still do it in this boat.”

Lawrence said she felt good going into the final, but then heard the commentator announce she had a 50 penalty.

“I thought I was okay, but then when things go wrong in hindsight, it’s easy to say I wasn’t,” she said.

“But the actual final was a long series of disasters, but there were some good bits. I just tried to make the rest of my run go as well as I possibly could, but I guess at some level, knowing I got a 50 I maybe paddled a little differently.”

The Australian team will now head to Augsburg. Germany, for World Cup 2 next weekend.

Ross Solly
Australian Canoeing

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