Fox flying flag for female Oly paddlers

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A Tokyo Olympics canoe gold medal would take pride of place in Jessica Fox's bulging trophy cabinet with the Australian paddler saying it would be a victory for all women.

Fox has won a silver and bronze medal in the kayak event (K1 - dual blades) at the past two Olympics but in Japan has two chances to go for slalom gold, with a women's canoe (C1 - single blade) race added to the program.

The 27-year-old campaigned to have the women's event included in place of a men's C2 race, ensuring genders were equally represented.

"It's the first time the women's canoe event will be on the Olympic program which is a huge moment for our sport, to finally have the gender equality and equal number of men and women," Fox said from Japan on Tuesday.

"It's an amazing opportunity to be able to do both events, and we've fought really hard to get to this point in my sport.

"It's something that I wear really proudly, to be the representative for Australia in the first women's C1 Olympic event.

"It's a big honour - so it's for me but it's also for all the people who have supported me and all the women who have fought for us to be in this position."

With 10 world titles to her name, Fox won the double at the 2018 world championships.

But at the most-recent world titles in Spain in 2019, she had to settle for silver behind Slovenian veteran Eva Tercelj in the K1, while young German Andrea Herzog pipped her in the C1.

Fox said only a handful of women were competing in both events in Tokyo but she was comfortable doubling up, having done both races for more than a decade.

"It'll be a new experience, we know the Olympics is more draining and exciting and overwhelming in some cases, but I think I've been well prepared now coming into a third Olympics," she said.

"I know what to expect so it'll be about managing each run day by day."

In her only international racing in more than a year due to COVID-19 disruptions, Fox was in the medals in both disciplines at World Cup events in Europe in June.

She said those races had put her back into a competitive mindset for Tokyo after being forced to spend time paddling in a backyard pool due to travel restrictions in 2020.

"Being able to go overseas before the Games to compete was amazing because it brought us back into that competitive environment after so long away and made it feel more like London and that lead-in into Rio as well," Fox said.

"It's different, it's unique (in Tokyo) but I think that's what makes it exciting too."

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