Year 12 student Jack Newland became Australia’s first ever junior world championship medallist when he took bronze in the men’s kayak surface final at the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships in Sort, Spain between June 29-July 6. Jack's post-event reaction, which you can watch below, was one of pure elation.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m so stoked. This is crazy,” Jack said.

“It’s been stressful, with a lot of butterflies, but I’ve been excited for most of the day. I didn’t know I could get on the podium."


Jack traveled to Sort hoping to improve on his top-15 finish in Argentina in 2017. He created history on Friday by becoming the first Australian to make a junior freestyle world championship podium, scoring 660 points on his first ride (video below) in the final to take the bronze.


Jack said training in the Handbury Centre pool four times a week, while not ideal when compared to many of his competitors who train on whitewater, may have given him a technical advantage over other athletes.

“Swimming pool training gives you a lot of boat control and strength, but it doesn’t give you the feel for features and waves such as this one,” he said. “You really are going in unknown. It took me four days when I got here to get use to the feature, because it’s completely different to what I’ve paddled before, and obviously completely different to a swimming pool.”

In two years’ time Jack is aiming to compete at the World Championships once again, only this time in open grade.

“I’ll need a lot more swimming pool practice, and hopefully a lot more whitewater practice,” he said. “I finish school pretty soon, so I’m pretty excited for the future, that’s for sure.”

Thanks to Paddle Australia for their tremendous coverage of Jack's World Championships campaign.