Olympic medallist Jessica Fox is considering quitting the canoeing discipline that made her world champion.
The 19-year-old will decide later this year whether to continue to compete in the C1 slalom, after the International Canoe Federation opted last November not to include the event on the women’s program at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Instead, the sport’s governing body said it would push for its inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The decision left Fox – the reigning C1 slalom world champion – shattered, having spent much of last year campaigning for more women’s events to be included at the elite level.
Without the carrot of Rio to work towards, the teenager is now likely to give up the C1 and focus on the K1 – the class for which she won a silver medal as an Olympic debutant at the 2012 London Games.
“I would be gutted to be sitting on the sidelines watching somebody else take my world title in the C1,” Fox told AAP on Wednesday.
“But at the end of the day, the K1 is the Olympic event, so I will be focusing more on that in the lead up to Rio.
“Whether I do that only next year to focus on K1, or if I start this year to get more experience or whether, it’s still undecided.
“I’ll definitely be racing C1 this year, just maybe not in all events.”
Fox will compete in both classes at this weekend’s national slalom championships in Penrith, as well as at the under-23 world championships in April.
She then hopes to secure a spot on the Australian team for five World Cup events beginning in June and the world championships in September.
Only then will she decide whether to pursue both the C1 and K1 events full-time.
“If I am going to do both, which is still possible, I would definitely have to have a better strategy in place to manage both,” she said, alluding to her disappointment in 2013 when she failed to make the final in the K1 after smashing the field in the C1 at the world title event in Prague.
“There are times when I’ve thought I haven’t performed as well because I’ve been doing both. “So yes, it will be interesting if I choose to just focus on one event, to see how I race.”