Strict new rules mean Aussie Olympic gold medalist Jessica Fox will be denied the chance to compete with her sister at the Paris Games.
Jessica Fox could end her sister Noemie’s Olympic dreamsFollows Jessica Fox, 29, widely tipped by the International Olympic Committee to compete in C1 and K1 in Paris, Noemi Fox, 26, is unlikely to race next year
Jessica Fox’s dream of competing with her sister at the 2024 Paris Olympics has been dealt a crushing blow.
It follows recent changes by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the qualification process, which could see Nomi Fox forced to give up her place for her older brother, who famously won gold in the women’s C1 canoe slalom final at the Tokyo Games. .
The sisters are set to compete in separate categories – closed canoe (C1) and kayak (K1) – but can cross over.
Jess, 29, is a world champion in both events and the new rules from the IOC could end the dreams of Nomi, 26, who is yet to make her Olympic debut.
A talented athlete himself, he won gold at the 2019 World Championships in Spain.
In Paris, Jess is widely tipped to compete in both the C1 and K1 events – but new rules introduced by the IOC dictate that any competitor who qualifies in C1 must sit out of qualifying for the kayak event.
Jessica Fox’s dream to compete with her sister at the 2024 Paris Olympics has suffered a crushing blow (pictured, after winning gold in the women’s C1 canoe slalom at the Tokyo Games).
It follows recent changes by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the qualification process, which saw Naomi Fox forced to give up her place for her older sibling (sisters pictured together above).
For Jess to make a run for gold at the K1 event in Paris, she will need another Aussie – predicted to be her sibling – to earn a quota place.
In essence this means competitors will try to qualify boats for the event against themselves.
The decision will be left to Paddle Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee as to which athletes will compete in the two categories.
Given Jess’s heroics in Tokyo, she might just get the nod – at her sister’s expense.
Paddle Australia national performance director Kim Crane admitted it was a ‘really tough’ situation.
‘In the sense that the two girls are always competing, basically, under the umbrella for Australia, but they’re actually lining up against each other as individual athletes,’ she told Seven Sport.
‘That’s the beauty of their relationship is they support each other but at the same time they know they’re ready to challenge each other to be the best they can be as individual athletes.
‘But no doubt it is difficult. ‘It’s hard in a normal team environment, but when you’re fighting against your sister it’s really hard.’