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Fox heads Aust Olympic canoe slalom team

  • Fox heads Aust Olympic canoe slalom team

    Jessica Fox has been selected in the Australian canoe slalom team for the Rio Olympics.

A relieved Jessica Fox has the chance to go one better at the Rio Olympic Games than she did in London four years ago after being selected the Australian canoe slalom team for Brazil.

Olympic silver medallist Fox headlines the three-member team announced on Thursday in Sydney.

Fox, who will compete in the K1, is joined by Olympic debutants Lucien Delfour (K1) and Ian Borrows (C1) in the Australian squad for Brazil.

The 21-year-old Fox won a tight nomination trial at the Oceania Championships at Penrith last weekend and was delighted to make the team.

"It's a really tough process. Only one woman can go - there's only one woman's K1 spot. It was brutal," Fox said.

"Everyone just expected I'd qualify for Rio. It's been a hard and unpleasant two weeks of races and a lot of hard work over four years."

In her debut Olympics, Fox produced one of the Australian performances of London 2012 when, as an 18-year-old, she paddled to silver at the Lee Valley White Water Centre north of London.

She blitzed her final run and was in the gold medal position before being beaten by Frenchwoman Emilie Fer.

"Gold is the next logical step, but it's not that simple," Fox said.

"When I arrive at Rio, I want to be as best prepared as possible. I learnt a lot at London.

"I've got more expectation and pressure now, but I'll just focus on doing the best I can."

Her teammate Delfour secured his spot after a head-to-head battle with Jaxon Merritt in the third Olympic nomination trial at the Oceania Championships.

The 27-year-old grew up in France, but moved to Australia in 2010 and became a citizen in 2014.

He said his friends and family were excited, despite him representing another country.

"Everyone's happy, regardless of where I live and compete," Delfour said.

It's been a huge 12 months for 27-year-old Borrows who missed out on last year's World Championships team.

To be selected, Borrows needed to beat London Olympian Robin Jeffery in the final men's C1 race at the Oceania Championships.

"We had to sit around and wait for a while because no one knew who had won, what the times were - it was nerve racking," Borrows said.

"I'm still running on that high."

AUSTRALIAN CANOE SLALOM TEAM FOR RIO OLYMPICS:

* Jessica Fox (K1)

* Lucien Delfour (K1)

* Ian Borrows (C1)

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