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Jess Fox battles illness for World Cup win

3 minute read

Olympic canoeing champion Jess Fox has earned a courageous and emotional triumph at the World Cup.

JESSICA FOX.
JESSICA FOX. Picture: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Olympic champion Jess Fox has earned one of her toughest World Cup canoeing triumphs, overcoming sickness to paddle to a third consecutive K1 crown in Slovenia.

Last year's C1 champion at the Tokyo Olympics was left emotional after falling ill before her K1 final on the Tacen whitewater course in Ljubljana but still managing to fight against the odds to another victory.

"Today's been a bit emotional because it's been a real mental battle," said the 28-year-old, who is considered to be one of the greatest canoe racers in history.

"I was feeling really ill this morning and vomiting, so to actually make the final and then pull it out in the final and keep pushing to the finish, I'm so proud of that run. I can't quite believe I won today.

"It wasn't perfect, but often it never is. You've just got to keep composed and keep pushing. I felt like it was quite an ugly run, but the time was still solid."

Fox had vomited before her gold-medal winning race in Tokyo but that had been down to nerves, rather than sickness.

Tacen is one of Fox's favourite courses, where nine years ago she became the first paddler to win both K1 and C1 gold at the same event and where her father, Richard, had once also won the first World Cup race staged there.

"It's one of my favourite courses I think, it's really enjoyable when you're on line, you can get so much natural speed," she said.

"It's a very unique course to race on. I've enjoyed being here every time, so it's special to come back."

Fox may not be finished yet, as she lines up in the C1 semi-final on Sunday alongside her sister Noemie Fox and fellow Australian Kate Eckhardt.

In August, the Penrith athlete will duel for more gold at the world championships in Augsburg, Germany, where she is tipped to add to her remarkable career haul of 11 golds at the event.

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