“I come from a genuine rowing family. My aunt and uncle used to row at the elite level and even competed in the Olympics. When I attended one of my older brother’s rowing sessions as a fifteen-year-old, I was sold on the sport at once. There are no words to describe the feeling I have when I’m in my boat. I’m outside enjoying the sun, with the wind running through my hair – and then there’s the act of rowing itself, obviously. It’s how I let off steam. It allows me to fully relax and empty my mind, despite the fact that I’m exerting myself physically. I generally row on my own, but sometimes I’ll row with a partner.

Three years after taking up the sport, I won the junior world title. After that, I won other titles and medals at the European Championships and World Championships. I’m quite fanatical, I really genuinely enjoy what I do, and I’m talented. Those are the three main factors. In addition, I have an excellent feel for what a boat is doing and how to respond to it, and I’m quite coachable. I really listen to my coach, I understand what he means, and I do it.

I hope all these things will get me to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and that I will win that gold medal there. That would obviously be quite magical. Although I have to say, at the end of the day it’s not about the medal itself, but rather about the fact that I’m the fastest. And about the competition itself. Competitions at that level are always really cool. I do get a kick out of that.”