We are just two days out from the start of the 2014 Australian Open and National Slalom Championships in Penrith.
On Monday we previewed the C1M and C2M events and yesterday we took a look at the main contenders in the C1W.
Today we will switch our focus to the K1W event.
Nothing separated Australia’s top three senior K1W last year with Rosalyn Lawrence winning the National title ahead of Victorian Sarah Grant and London Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox.
The Australian Open was also a close affair with Fox finishing second behind Czech star Katarina Kudejova. Grant and Lawrence finishing third and fourth respectively.
This weekend’s events promise to be no different with Fox no doubt keen to avenge for last year’s third place finish and add to the K1W National title she won in 2012.
The Penrith kayaker produced a ground-breaking year in 2013. At the fourth ICF World Cup in Tacen, Slovenia, Fox became the first female athlete to win the K1 and C1 events at the one World Cup.
The 19 year old recorded top ten finishes at four of the five World Cups to finish second in the ICF World Cup Standings and must be considered the frontrunner this weekend.
Hailing from Old Bonalbo in Northern New South Wales Lawrence will be one of Fox’s main rivals this weekend.
Lawrence has always been known for her standout performances in C1, but in 2013 the 24 year old had her best year in a K1 boat.
Her highlight came at the ICF World Championships when she finished seventh in the final which can be attributed to her heavier focus on K1.
“Although in the past I have put more focus on C1, I am now focusing on K1 because the funding I need to make my training sustainable is only accessible in K1. Also I want to go to the Olympics, and that’s impossible for six more years in C1”, Lawrence said.
Asked what her goal is for 2014 she responded, “I am aiming make the podium in K1 at the World Champs.”
Melbourne kayaker Sarah Grant is another who is more than capable of winning the Australian Open and National Slalom titles this weekend.
The 27 year old was a consistent World Cup performer in 2013. Grant reached at least the semifinal stage at each of the five World Cups. Her seventh place finish at World Cup 5 in Bratislava was her highest finish.
There will be a small contingent of international athletes with New Zealander Luuka Jones and Japanese paddler Yuriko Takeshita the ones most likely to spoil the Australian party.
Fox will also headline a list of promising U23 athletes who will begin the fight for selection this weekend to compete at the ICF Junior and U23 World Championships which will be held in Penrith in April.
Normally known for her ability in a C1 boat, Alison Borrows leads a strong younger generation coming through the ranks.
The 21 year old was a member of the K1W U23 team that competed at the ICF Junior and U23 World Championships last year in Slovakia.
She finished in 19th place, one spot behind Fox with Victorian Maggie Webster finishing 45th at her first U23 Worlds.
In the junior events keep a close eye out for the younger Fox, Noemie who along with Western Australian Georgia Rankin and Tasmanian Kate Eckhardt contested the K1W event at the Junior World Championships last year.
Penrith’s Alexandra Broome and Western Australian Isabella Choate will be the other girls in junior contention.
Please follow the links below for more information.
The K1M Preview will be published on the AC website tomorrow.
|Australian Open website|