Gold And Silver for Australia’s Paddlers at U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships

Tom Green turned a few days of ‘having fun’ into a gold medal when the big Australian powered over the 1000 metres to win gold at the 2019 ICF junior and U23 canoe sprint world championships in Pitesti on Friday.

Green has been talking down his chances all week in Romania, but there could be no denying the 20-year-old in the race for gold. His victory was followed a short time later by a silver medal for Jean van der Westhuyzen and Jackson Collins in the U23 K2 1000.

The Queensland trio will team up with 2016 Olympian Riley Fitzsimmons on Saturday in the heats of the U23 K4 1000, giving Australia a strong chance of another medal.

Green said he was hoping to use this week as an opportunity to develop his skills further ahead of the senior world championships, but from his first heat win it became obvious he was the man for the rest to beat. He took the lead early in Friday’s final, and never looked in danger.

“It was good fun, but it was also a bit tough,” Green said.

“There was a bit of wind in that race, and also a bit of weed, but it was fun. I was trying to have control, to go out and stay in control for the whole thing. It worked and definitely helped me throughout the race.”

Green tasted success in the U23 K2 1000 last year alongside Joel McKitterick, and says his win on Friday is a big step in his overall development.

“It’s one of the pieces of the puzzle,” he said.

“At the end of the day it all helps, these little things you learn from each event.”

Green surged on to the international scene in 2018 and following his u23 gold, he also made theA final at his firstsenior world championships in the men’s K1 500 and finished fourth in the men’s K4 500 together with Olympians Riley Fitzsimmons, Jordan Wood and Murray Stewart.

This year, Green will once again contest the senior world championships, which will also be the Olympic qualification event, as will newcomers to the team Jackson Collins and Jean van der Westhuyzen.

Van der Westhuyzen and Collins pushed the Hungarian gold medallists all the way to the finish, but could not quite get their noses in front.

“We’re pretty stoked, but obviously we were going out there for the gold,” van der Westhuyzen said.

“We didn’t execute our best race, but a silver medal, we can see the silver lining there, so we’re pretty stoked.”

Collins said it was a challenge in their first world championship final together.

“The final was completely different, it had a completely different feel to the heat,” he said.
“It was just an experience, a learning experience, something I have never been through before so it was really cool to get out there.”

It Is the first World Championships medal for the 20-year old former AFL player and surf ski paddler Jackson Collins, who is the son of four-time Olympian and dual Olympic medallist Daniel Collins and only switched to kayaking last year.

Jemma Smith (NSW) also made her mark on Saturday, qualifying for the final of the women’s U23 K1 1000, and then fighting all the way to the finish to cross the line in sixth position.

South Australians Daniel Kucharski and Jesse Kneebone-Ellis finished third in the B final of the men’s K2 junior 1000, and Yasemin Ray (WA), Alicia Fay (QLD), Ashlee Schoene (SA) and Caitlin Webber (SA) finished seventh in the B final of the women’s junior K4 500.


Racing continues today with the event wrapping up tomorrow.

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A-Final Results Australia, Friday, 3 August

K1 U23 Men 1000

1 AUS Thomas GREEN 00:03:41.946
2 GER Jakob THORDSEN 00:03:43.024
3 HUN Adam VARGA 00:03:43.444

K2 U23 Men 1000

00:03:29.139 00:00:01.365
00:03:29.602 00:00:01.828

 K1 U23 Women 1000

1 GER Jule HAKE 00:04:13.363
2 HUN Noemi PUPP 00:04:13.396 00:00:00.033
3 CZE Anezka PALOUDOVA 00:04:19.291 00:00:05.928
6 AUS Jemma SMITH 00:04:21.864 00:00:08.501

Team Aus Race Schedule Saturday, 3 August 2019  – AEST +7hrs

08:55 18 WK1 200m SEMI 1 Charli Smyth
Progression: 1/2+ Next BT to A, 3x3rd + 4x4th + 2x5th BT to B,
2x5th +4x6th + 3next BT to C
09:10 18 MK1 200m SEMI 1 Jesse Kneebone – Ellis
Progression: 1/2+ Next BT to A, 3x3rd + 4x4th + 2x5th BT to B,
2x5th +4x6th + 3next BT to C
09:55 23 WK1 200m SEMI 1 Brianna Massie
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/6 to B
10:10 23 MK1 200m SEMI 1 Ethan Neville
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/6 to B
15:54 23 MK4 500m Heat 1 Lane 6 Fitzsimmons/Green/Collins
Progression: 1st to A, 2/7 to Semi
16:18 23 WK1 500m Heat 2 Lane 9 Brianna Massie
Progression: 1st to A, 2/7 to Semi
17:12 18 MK1 500m Heat 4 Lane 2 Daniel Kucharski
Progression: 1/6 to Semi + 3 next best
17:18 18 WK2 500m Heat 1 Lane 3 Charli S/ Caitlin W
Progression: 1st to A, 2/7 to Semi
18:12 23 WK2 500m Heat 1 Lane 3 Lucind K/ Jemma S
Progression: 1/3 to A, 4/7 + next BT to B