Strong Start For Australia’s Junior And U23 Paddlers At Canoe Sprint World Championships

Australia, led by the U23 men, made a strong start to the 2019 ICF junior and canoe sprint world championships in Pitesti overnight, to set the scene for a top weekend of paddling in Romania (1-4 August 2019).

Tom Green (QLD) led the charge with a slashing heat win in the U23 K1 1000, in a time quicker than the gold medal time at last year’s U23 world titles.

His K4 partners, Jean van der Westhuyzen (QLD) and Jackson Collins (QLD), then repeated the performance in their U23 K2 1000 heat, also setting a time quicker than last year’s gold medal time.

Every Australian who took to the water on Thursday progressed through to the next round, including the athletes wearing the green and gold for the first time.

But it was Green who set the high bar early.

“It felt alright, the water’s a bit heavy, but it’s good. I didn’t want to muck around, I just wanted to go for it and not have to think about holding back or anything,” Green said.

Like van der Westhuyzen and Collins, Green will also contest the senior world championships at the end of August and is enjoying the u23 competition.

“It’s good to see where I am among these guys, and also among the seniors. With the seniors you learn a whole lot more because everything is just a whole beat higher.

“This week I’m just going to try and go as well as I can and just take that expectation off everything, because having senior worlds coming up, I’ve got a lot of expectations on myself.”

Van der Westhuyzen and Collins are still relative newcomers to the Australian team, but they looked comfortable on Thursday as they posted the quickest time to go straight through to the U23 K2 1000 final.

“We were thinking if maybe it might have been better to have a semi and try and get a better lane for the final, but then we just decided we wanted to go straight through to the final,” van der Westhuyzen said.

“It’s so weird seeing guys our age and younger than us.

It feels weird being the old guys,” Jackson said.

“It’s a massive honour to be here, we both feel stoked to be here. It’s really exciting to be able to come here and be able to race for your country. Everyone’s paddling really well, we’ve got a good team environment, so everyone’s feeling really good.”

Others through include Jemma Smith (NSW), into the semis of the women’s U23 K1 1000.

“It’s always really exciting to come here to a world championships and get that first race out of the way,” she said.

“I was a bit nervous before that, but really glad I could clear the cobwebs out and get a good feel. Hopefully tomorrow in the semi I can put a good race together.”

Australian debutant Tinus Koekemoer (NSW) made it through to the semis of the junior K1 1000, Daniel Kucharski (SA) and Jesse Kneebone-Ellis (SA) into the junior K2 1000 semis, and Kneebone-Ellis also made it through to the semis of the junior K1 200.

The women’s junior K4 500 crew of Yasemin Ray (WA), Ashlee Schoene (SA), Alicia Fay (QLD) and Caitlin Webber (SA) are through to their semi-final, Charli Smyth (SA) qualified for the semis of the junior K1 200, and Brianna Massie (QLD) will enjoy U23 K1 women’s 200 semi-final action.

Ethan Neville (NSW) was the final Australian in action on Thursday, safely progressing to the semis of the U23 K1 men’s 200.

Racing continues in Pitesti, Romania today with semi-finals and the first round of A and B finals. The world championships conclude on Sunday, 4 August 2019.

For more information and to follow racing live see event website here:

Follow live results here:

Team Aus Race Schedule Friday, 2 August 2019  

09:12 18 WK4 500m SEMI 1 Ray/Schoene/ Fay/ Webber
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/7 + next BT to B
09:24 18 Mk1 1000m SEMI 1 Joachim Koekemoer
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/6 to B
10:20 23 WK1 1000m SEMI 1 Jemma Smith
Progression: 1/3  to final.
10:27 23 MK1 1000m SEMI 1 Tom Green
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/6 to B
11:02 18 MK2 1000m SEMI 1 Dan K/ Jesse K-E
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/6 to B
11:37 23 MK2 1000m SEMI 1 Jean V.W/ Jackson C
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/7 + next BT to B
Pending semi-finals results:
12:30 18 Mk1 1000m FINAL B tbc
12:44 23 MK1 1000m FINAL B tbc
12:58 18 MK2 1000m FINAL B tbc
11:37 23 MK2 1000m FINAL B tbc
13:36 18 WK4 500m FINAL B tbc
15:12 18 WK4 500m FINAL A tbc
15:21 18 Mk1 1000m FINAL A tbc
12:44 23 MK1 1000m FINAL A tbc
16:05 23 WK1 1000m FINAL A tbc
16:37 18 MK2 1000m FINAL A tbc
17:04 23 MK2 1000m FINAL A tbc


2019 ICF Canoe Sprint Junior & U23 World Championships, Pitesti, Romania, 1-4 August 2019

Jackson Collins (QLD):                                                          MK2 1000 + MK4 500
Riley Fitzsimmons (NSW | NSWIS | Avoca)                          MK4 500
Tom Green (QLD | QAS | Varsity Lakes)                               MK1 1000 + MK4 500
Ethan Neville (NSW | NSWIS | Salty Paddlers)                     MK1 200
Jean Van Der Westhuyzen (QLD | QAS | Varsity Lakes):     MK2 1000 + MK4 500

Lucinda Kelly (QLD | QAS | Kawana Waters):                       WK2 500
Brianna Massie (QLD | QAS | Kawana Waters):                   WK1 500 + WK1 200
Jemma Smith (NSW | NSWIS | Avoca):                                WK1 1000 + WK2 500

Jesse Kneebone Ellis (SA | SASI | West Lakes):                  MK2 1000 + MK1 200
Joachim Koekemoer (NSW | NSWIS | Sydney Northern Beaches): MK1 1000
Daniel Kucharski (SA | SASI | West Lakes):                          MK2 1000 + MK1 500

Alicia Fay (QLD | QAS | Kawana Waters):                             WK4 500
Yasemin Ray (WA | WAIS | Bayswater):                               WK4 500
Ashlee Schoene (SA | West Lakes):                                      WK 4 500
Charli Smyth (SA | West Lakes):                                            WK1 200 + WK2 500
Caitlin Webber (SA | West Lakes):                                        WK2 500

By Events 
WK2 500 Lucinda Kelly, Jemma Smith
WK1 500 Brianna Massie
WK1 200 Brianna Massie
WK1 1000 Jemma Smith

MK1 1000 Tom Green
MK1 200 Ethan Neville
MK2 1000 Jean van der Westhuyzen / Jackson Collins
MK4 500 Fitzsimmons / Green / Collins / van der Westhuyzen

WK2 500 Charli Smyth / Caitlin Webber
WK1 200 Charli Smyth
WK4 500 Ray/Schoene/ Fay/ Webber

MK1 500 Dan Kucharski
MK1 200 Jesse Kneebone-Ellis
MK1 1000 Joachim Koekemoer
MK2 1000 Dan Kucharski / Jesse Kneebone-Ellis