Pierre Van der Westhuyzen (pictured) did not disappoint in his debut for the Australian canoe sprint team, bringing home a silver and a bronze from the weekend’s ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in the Czech Republic.
The Bond University Actuarial Science student hopes to emulate his Olympian brother and Bond alumnus Jean Van der Westhuyzen, who won gold at the Tokyo Games with paddling partner Tom Green.
Green and the elder Van der Westhuyzen rekindled their successful partnership in the Czech Republic to take home a silver medal in the K2 Men 500m. Green also won silver in the K1 Men 1000m individual event.
Pierre partnered with the Sunshine Coast’s Alyssa Bull to win silver in the K2 Mix 500m and won bronze with Noah Harvard in the K2 Men 1000m.
Bull took home Australia’s only gold medal with her win in the K1 Women 1000m.
Upon his selection in the Australian team last month, the younger van der Westhuyzen credited his training partners at Varsity Lakes with lifting his performance to a world-class level.
Both brothers emigrated from their native South Africa to Australia to pursue their paddling goals.
“An Olympic medal is obviously the aim,” Pierre said.
“I’m still pretty young and 2024 Paris Olympics is the ambitious goal. I’ll be 21 in 2024 and if we can get in that team it will be a bonus.”
The next ICF Canoe Sprint World Championship event will be held in Poland from May 26-29.