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Fox begins bid for second Olympic berth

  • Fox begins bid for second Olympic berth

    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Jessica Fox of Australia, 1st Place. Womens Final Canoe (C1) at Lee Valley White Water Centre at Lee Valley White Water Centre on September 20, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Hubbard/Getty Images)

Winning an Olympic medal is hard.

But just getting there is even harder, according to champion paddler Jessica Fox.

The 21-year-old begins her quest for a second Olympic berth at this weekend's Australian Open canoe slalom championships in Penrith.

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It is the first of two selection events for the 2016 Rio Games, with the Oceania championships to follow later this month.

Fox won silver on debut in London and currently holds the No.1 world ranking in women's K1.

But with only one spot available for an Australian in the event, she's far from a shoe-in.

"It's pretty cut-throat," she told AAP on Wednesday.

"We have three races and to really cement your spot to go to Rio you've basically got to win two of them."

Fox reckons Rosalyn Lawrence poses her biggest threat, having won the national title in Tasmania last month and also competed at the 2012 London trials.

She will also face stiff competition from compatriot Alison Borrows and fellow world top 10-ranked K1 women Katerina Kudejova from the Czech Republic, Austrian Corinna Kuhnle and German pair Ricarda Funk and Jasmin Schornberg who are among a world-class field of 50 paddlers.

Scoring gold in Rio is her dream but Fox said her focus was now purely on qualifying.

Not getting ahead of herself is something the French-born slalom canoeist has learnt since she began competing in 2006 - especially since the 2012 Games.

"People have said before that the Olympics is the easiest race to win. I disagree," she said.

"The selection trials are always the hardest.

"But they set you up well for dealing with other major events because there is so much at stake and it's one of the biggest events for you as an athlete.

"Some people shy away from (the pressure), some people get worried by it ... but I kind of take it in my stride."

The women's K1 qualification runs start on Friday, followed by semi-finals and finals on Saturday.

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