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Robert Jahrling (born 14 February 1974) is an Argentinian-born Olympian rower of East German parentage who competed for Australia at three Olympic Games. He was an Australian state and national champion, a medallist at World Rowing Championships and won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the men's eight.[1][2]

Rob Jahrling
Personal information
Born (1974-02-14) 14 February 1974 (age 45)
Burruyacú Department, Argentinia
EducationNewington College
Monash University
OccupationInvestment banker
Height204 cm (6 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight96 kg (212 lb)[1]
RelativesHarald Jährling (father)
Marina Wilke (mother)


Jahrling was born in Villa Benjamín Aráoz, a village in the Argentinian Burruyacú Department. His parents, Marina Wilke and Harald Jährling, are both Olympic gold medallists in rowing for East Germany.[3] His mother – the coxswain of the East German women's eight – was not yet sixteen when Jahrling was born. Jahrling attended Newington College (1991–1992)[4] and was coached by Robert Buntine and Michael Morgan. He holds a BA (Commerce) and a Masters in International Finance, Accounting, Marketing & Management from Monash University where he graduated in 2000.[citation needed]

Club and state rowingEdit

Jahrling's senior club rowing was done from Sydney Rowing Club, where he is an Honorary Life Member. He was first selected to represent New South Wales in the 1993 men's senior eight contesting the King's Cup at the Interstate Regatta within the Australian Rowing Championships.[5] He raced in further King's Cup eights for New South Wales in 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004.[6] His King's Cup career was during a period of Victorian dominance and Jahrling only saw one NSW victory – in 2004.[7]

In Sydney Rowing Club colours Jahrling contested numerous national titles at the Australian Rowing Championships. He won seven national championships and twenty-one New South Wales state championship titles.

International rowing careerEdit

At the Australian Institute of Sport in 1993 Jahrling was initially paired with Nick Porzig and they won their early 5 km time trials beating other combinations of their cohort. Nevertheless, coach Reinhold Batschi changed out the combination and paired Porzig with Jaime Fernandez.

Jahrling's Australian representative debut was in 1993 in a coxed four which rowed to a fifth placing at the 1993 World Rowing Championships in Racice.[8] The following year at the 1994 World Rowing Championships in Indianapolis he again placed fifth, this time in the coxless four.[8]

In 1995 Jahrling was selected to the Australian eight and he raced in that that boat and stroked by Rob Scott at the 1995 World Rowing Championships in Tampere, Finland to overall eleventh place.[8] Jahrling, Nick Porzig, Jaime Fernandez, Ben Dodwell and the coxswain Brett Hayman remained in the Australian eight into the 1996 Olympic year and were joined in the crew by the Stewart twins and the New South Wales pair of Walker and Wearne taking over in the stern end. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics the Australian eight rowed to a sixth place.[8]

Jahrling carried on after his first Olympics and in 1997 he rowed in a coxless pair with Stuart McRae at two World Rowing Cups in Europe and then at the 1997 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France where they finished in eighth place.[8] In 1999 Jahrling was back into the Australian eight with his sights set on Sydney 2000. They raced at the World Rowing Cup III before contesting the 1999 World Rowing Championships in St Catharine's Canada where they missed the A final and finished in seventh place.[8]

In 2000 the Australian eight qualified for the Olympics and raced at two Rowing World Cups in the lead up campaign as well as at the Henley Royal Regatta where they raced as an Australian Institute of Sport eight and won that year's Grand Challenge Cup.[9] Jahrling was in the four seat of the eight with his old AIS training mates Porzig and Fernandez. They were joined by Christian Ryan, Alastair Gordon, Stuart Welch, Daniel Burke, the champion Mike McKay with Hayman on the rudder.[8] At Sydney 2000 the Australian eight won their heat in a pace that blew away the eventual gold medallists Great Britain. However, in the final they started slowly and their late sprint home left them 0.8 seconds behind the Brits at the line and taking the silver Olympic medal in a thrilling finish.[10][8]

In 2002 he won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Seville in a men's coxed pair rowed with Tom Laurich and Michael Toon up front. It was the Australian men's team's only medal at Seville.[11] He also rowed in an Australian coxed four at that regatta.[8]

Jahrling's final Australian appearances came in the 2004 Olympic year. He was selected in a coxless four with Laurich, David Dennis and David McGowan. They raced at the World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne to a fourth placing and then at Athens 2004 they recorded a time of 6.13.06 in the final, rowing to a fourth-place finish.[12]

Jahrling also represented Australia at three Commonwealth Regattas for 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.


Jahrling is a five time New South Wales Rower of the Year recipient and has been involved in fund raising activities for Step to the Future and Mission Australia. He is an Honorary Life Member of Sydney Rowing Club and a member of the Olympians Club of Australia. He was awarded the keys to the City of Sydney as part of the 2000 Olympic team and in 2002 he won the Australian National Sports Star award for achievements in both sport and business.[citation needed]

Post-rowing careerEdit

From 2000, Jahrling worked as an investment banker for Credit Suisse in Australia and Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. Later he became a managing director at Citi in Australia and the Head of Equity Syndicate.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Rob Jahrling". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Robert Jahrling". Australian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  3. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Marina Wilke". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  4. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863–1998 (Sydney, 1999) p 98
  5. ^ 1993 Interstate Regatta
  6. ^ 2002 Interstate Regatta
  7. ^ 2004 Austn C'ships
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jahrling at World Rowing
  9. ^ Australian Henley victories
  10. ^ 2000 Olympics at Guerin Foster
  11. ^ "Rob Jahrling". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Olympics – Schedules & Results". Sports Illustrated. 21 August 2004. Retrieved 7 January 2007.