Silver Fox one-ups mum and dad

Teenage kayaker Jessica Fox promises to try not to brag too much, but concedes it's "kinda cool" to have bettered her accomplished mum and dad with an Olympic silver medal.

Barely two months since being legally able to drink, the 18-year-old on Thursday became one of Australia's best-performing Olympic kayakers, taking silver in the women's K1.

She scrapped through to the 10-woman final as eighth-fastest qualifier, but then set the field a mighty task to better her with a blistering 106.51 seconds time on the tricky Lee Valley White Water Centre course.

Of the seven who followed, only France's Emilie Fer was able to top her, and only by 0.61s.

"I'm still on a cloud," Fox said, clutching her silver medal.

"I didn't want to stay there waiting because it gets really stressful.

"You think 'oh, at worst I'm fifth, at worst, I'm fourth ... oh my God, I've got silver.

"It's a dream come true.

"It's the most beautiful piece of metal I've ever seen."

Before Fox, two compatriots, Danielle Woodward in 1992 and Jacqui Lawrence in 2008, succeeded as underdogs by both taking silver.

Robin Bell took slalom bronze in the men's C1 at the 2008 Beijing Games.

But most importantly, the silver medal places Fox firmly at No.1 in the hierarchy of Olympic finishes for her family.

Mum and coach Myriam won bronze for France at the 1996 Atlanta Games, while father Richard, a five-time world champion for Great Britain, came away with a fourth from Barcelona in 1992.

"I'm not looking to equal or better them," Fox said.

"I'm just looking to make my own path in the sport and if I can do that, that'd be awesome."

A glance at her medal and the bubbly media student reconsiders.

"I'm happy that I've got silver and mum's got bronze - and that's kinda cool that I beat her," Fox said with a grin.

"For now I feel like I'm better than them."

Myriam Fox was waiting with multiple hugs course-side, while younger sister Noemi watched on as the family's most recent Olympic medallist conducted interview after interview, including some in fluent French.

Could she one day rival her parents who share seven world championship titles between them?

"Oh yeah, she's better than I ever was," Richard Fox said.

"See, she's come second, Myriam came third and I came fourth - that's the way it should be."

Fox also managed a minor victory on behalf of her mum on Thursday by beating Czech Stepanka Hilgertova, who beat Myriam for gold in Atlanta.

Hilgertova, 44, at her sixth Games, finished fourth.