Australian Olympic Games gold medallist Jessica Fox has laughed off a crash she had in practice as a « blooper » as she awaits Wednesday night’s AIS Sport Performance Awards.
During practice at Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Tuesday, the canoe slalom champion jolted into a bollard and hurt a toe, doing minor damage.
Fox suffered the injury scare while hosting International Canoe Federation (ICF) vice-president Lluis Rabaneda Caselles and NSW government dignitaries at her training base, which will host the World Canoe Slalom Championships in 2025.
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« I’m always pushing the lines, trying to get as fast as possible, trying to squeeze in time where I can, and I think the cameras caught me hitting one of the bollards pretty hard, which meant I smashed into it and pushed forward and cut my toe a little bit, but we’re all good, » Fox said.
« I’ve had a few bloopers this week, but that’s all part of training. »
The 29-year-old said on Instagram that Tuesday’s crash « looked dramatic », while lamenting that she wouldn’t be able to wear high heels at the AIS Sport Performance Awards.
She’s one of four athletes in contention for the Female Athlete of the Year honour at the AIS awards night, as are pole vault champion Nina Kennedy and swimming stars Kaylee McKeown and Mollie O’Callaghan.
In the first week of November, Fox was announced as the second Australian athlete picked for Paris 2024, following the selection of marathon swimmer Chelsea Gubecka in October.
Fox was announced as a competitor in the C1 (canoe) and K1 (events), in which she won gold and bronze respectively at Tokyo 2020.
The France-born Australian could yet be selected for the kayak cross, an event set to make its Olympic Games debut in Paris.
While canoers kneel in their boat and use a single-bladed paddle, kayakers are seated and have a doubled-bladed paddle.
Kayak cross in Paris will see four competitors set off from a ramp and race through a course marked with 10 obstacles, with the first two athletes advancing to the next round.
Fox hinted at her desire to contest the new event at Paris 2024.
« We’re getting a new start ramp [at Penrith Whitewater Stadium] which will be [of an] international standard, [an] automatic start ramp for the kayak cross, and that makes a huge difference for our training for race preparation, » Fox said.
« The head-to-head format means that the start’s important and you’ve got to get that training in. So [I’m] looking forward to testing that out in training and competition.
« It’s the new event for Paris 2024, so [I’m] very much getting into that training and learning as much as we can in the lead-up. »
The canoe and kayak events at Paris 2024 will be held at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium, as will the rowing events.