Victoria’s Robert Janiszewski says he’s got what it takes to “battle against the best” as he leads an Australian team of six at this week’s ICF Junior and U23 Wildwater Canoeing World Championships in the Czech Republic, from July 5-8.
Australia’s national men’s champion Janiszewski is targeting a top-10 finish in the C1 at his final U23 world championships, while Tom Ladson, Tom Elms and James Humphry are contesting the K1 in the U23s. Rounding out the Australian team, Riley Galea and Huxley Luntungan will race K1 in the Juniors.
Janiszewski made his senior world championship debut in Germany last month, finishing 18th. The 22-year-old has continued to build his strength and experience, including top-10 finishes in the sprint and classic events at the World Cup in Mezzana, Italy.
Janiszewski says he’s ready to go for his last tilt at the U23s in Roudnice Nad Labem this week, before transitioning completely to senior competition.
“I’ve been feeling really good, getting more power and race experience this year under my belt,” Janiszewski says.
“Time-wise in training has been showing me that I’ve definitely got what it takes to reach my goals. I’m feeling confident going into these world champs, knowing I can definitely battle against the best.”
Tom Ladson, 18, of Fairfield Canoe Club in Melbourne, says he and the team are relishing the opportunity to soak up international experience. Ladson says preparation in Australia will also stand the team in good stead.
“[The course here] is a lot easier than the selection course at Penrith, so I feel quite comfortable and prepared for this course,” Ladson says. “I feel like our guys, myself included, can do quite well, I think this is a good course for the Australian squad.
“Of course making finals would be nice, but that’s a side goal. The main one is to get race experience, see what racing overseas is like, so I can build on that for future years.”
Wildwater combines many of the paddling skills of flat-water and canoe slalom, which suits Australia’s Riley Galea of Melbourne Canoe Club.
Galea will go on to represent Australia at the ICF World Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom Championships in Kraków, Poland, from 15 to 20 August.
“I’m hoping to make the top 20 here in the sprint and have some fun in the classic, but also looking forward to having some fun in the C2 teams run,” Galea says. “I’m excited, it looks like a fun course with a pretty tricky bottom section.”
The Individual Classic event will get the Championships underway on Wednesday 5 July, before the Team Classic on Thursday 6 July. Individual Sprint heats and finals will take place across Friday and Saturday, before the Sprint Teams event rounds out the Championships on Saturday afternoon.
Riley Galea (JNR K1)
Huxley Luntungan (JNR K1)
Robert Janiszewski (U23 C1)
Tom Ladson (U23 K1)
Tom Elms (U23 K1)
James Humphry (U23 K1)
Find out more about the Championships HERE