For the past five or six months my primary goal was to compete at u23 championships. And I have succeeded! I rowed a lightweight’s double and came 16th.
It has been an incredible journey, road full of dedication, sweat, denial and pain, and it was worth it! In spring I teamed up with another rower from different club (In our country there are only 7 clubs and therefore we were the only u23 lightweights) and we rowed double since. In the beginning it was not easy - our timings were a bit off, I was a bit ahead of him (he was the stroke) and the boat speed just wasn’t there, but with dedication to our goal things started to improve. We were faster on every race and test, all the way until the coaches said we were fast enough to compete at world champs.
Before departure we set ourselfs a goal, achieve semifinals (A/B). Well, our goal didn’t worked out. I believe it was the fact that it was our first race at the top level. I mean, we have had a lot of international races that were tough, but nothing quite like that. When you are at the world champs you see all the countries, all the athletes that you see on television and read about them on the internet, so I think we were a bit overwhelmed with the going on (or should I say a lot). And when you compete, it is not just racing, it is giving your best, really best. All the teams are here with the same goal and all the athletes have trained as much as you or even more and all of them had to achieve certain times to qualify, just as we had.
The first two races were slow. We thought we gave our best but the boat speed just wasn’t there. In repechage we even had the last time. I don’t know how it happened but then we had C/D semifinals, we knew something had to change to be able to be at least competitive and it did! We had a very good race, probably our best. We were in final C. The last race was even better, we unfortunately ended up in 16th place but at least we were able to be competitive and coming to top level and be competitive is a very good achievement.
Our journey ended there, it was my team mate’s last year as u23 rower. I enjoyed every moment when we were together. We really teamed up, we never had a fight, we always tried to improve our technique, boat speed and help each other out. I wish we had another year together as a u23 team but there are some thing we can’t change. Maybe there will be a chance to row in senior (A) team, but until then, it is single for me and European Universities Rowing Championship, Poznan 2013 in September!
Together with my team mate(left), coach(middle) and our families