Three of Australia's Olympic canoe slalom team returned to action following a COVID-19 hiatus with wins at the 2021 Penrith Open Canoe Slalom series.
Jessica Fox, Daniel Watkins and Lucien Delfour showed preparations for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were going well by winning their respective disciplines in the three-event series in the city of Penrith in the state of New South Wales.
Double Olympic medallist Fox claimed wins in the women's C1 and K1, while Delfour won the men's K1 and Watkins, who is set to make his Olympic debut in Tokyo, triumphed the men's C1.
All three won their races in the final event of the competition, as well as the overall series, at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium, the national centre of excellence and Sydney 2000 Olympic canoe slalom venue.
The venue was recently awarded the 2025 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Slalom World Championships.
The three canoe slalom athletes said they were happy to return to action ahead of Tokyo 2020.
𝗠𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘂𝘀: 𝗙𝗘𝗕𝗥𝗨𝗔𝗥𝗬 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬 ☀️— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) December 6, 2020
• 15 athletes were selected for #Tokyo2020 from the sports of Modern Pentathlon, Artistic Swimming, Canoe Slalom and Sailing #TokyoTogether pic.twitter.com/G6j32rXkk4
"It's been awesome to get back out there on the start line, put a race bib on, hear the start buzzer and just race and feel that excitement and the nerves to better your runs each time," said Fox.
"We've had some great courses, some challenging moves and really competitive times from the boys, and for me it's been good to push myself.
"I think we really missed that international competition and normally we have so many international athletes out here to put on an amazing, World Cup-level event at this time of year.
"Instead, we really had to do that internally and put ourselves into that situation mentally and physically."
The next competition is set to be the Paddle Australia canoe slalom selection trials, scheduled to take place at Penrith Whitewater Stadium from April 16 to 18.
The trials will determine the team for the 2021 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cups, as well as the 2021 Under-23 Canoe Slalom World Championships and the 2021 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.
The Olympic team athletes have already qualified for the World Championships.