By Royston Sim
Jessica Fox is used to battling raging rivers and manoeuvring through whitewater rapids in her kayak.
But the 16-year-old Australian looked equally adept on the calm waters of Marina Reservoir yesterday, as she outraced every challenger to win the women’s K1 obstacle canoe slalom.
She finished her final in 1min 33.64sec, the fastest time throughout the girls’ K1 slalom competition.
A slalom specialist, she struggled in the sprint event and was eliminated in the third round, but led the 24-strong field during the two-day slalom event.
She said her slalom skills helped her adapt to the unfamiliar flatwater course, adding that the head-to-head format suited her competitive nature.
“I love competition. If I know there’s a medal chance, I’ll always do my best,” she said. “It’s a great feeling standing on the podium. I’ll remember it forever.”
The gold medal is another addition to her already glittering resume.
After striking gold at the Australian Youth Olympic festival last year, Jessica became a double junior world champion after winning the K1 and C1 events at this year’s ICF Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships in France.