Wildwater canoer rides a wave to new heights

Wildwater canoer rides a wave to new heights
Brendan Rees

There was just a hair’s breadth of clinching medal glory at the prestigious Wildwater World Championships, but Carlton local Robert Janiszewski has done his community – and country – proud.

The 22-year-old was the only Australian to compete at the men’s championships in the Czech Republic in July, in which he finished eighth place in the finals race.

A mere 2.4 second difference stood between him and third place as he navigated treacherous currents and daunting obstacles in a small town called Roudnice in an awe-inspiring performance.

It was a huge feat after Robert was crowned Australian Wildwater Canoe Champion for 2023 earlier this year.

“I was the only non-European in all the sprint finals out of 12 categories across the World championships so was extremely proud of myself,” he said.

“My finals run was my best run out of the whole competition and was super thrilled with my performance. I was only 2.4 seconds off a medal. I felt like I held my head high and did Australia proud.”

To make it to the final race, he qualified in a classic 3.5km event before going onto the sprints, which he placed tenth.  

Robert said it was his first time in the Czech Republic and “absolutely loved the country, its eastern and western mash of culture and the local people of the town”.

“It was great to see so many new young faces racing in the sport and a lot of my friends who had been competing with throughout the season.”


Caption: Robert Janiszewski competes in the Wildwater World Championships in the Czech Republic.

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