Switzerland's JW4x: The Road to Worlds


We had a quick chat with Celia, Emma, Lisa and Jana, who have been selected to represent Switzerland- the reigning Junior World silver medallists in the JW4x- in this year's crew.  They kindly spoke to us about all aspects of their rowing, from past experiences at Worlds in Rotterdam and Trakai to the inspiration that is Swiss JW1x World Champion Jeannine Gmelin!

What races have been important in your preparation for Račice this summer?

LISA

Our first race as a team was a qualification race and our first national race of the season. After that, we went to the Munich International Regatta. It was a good chance to compare ourselves to other teams around the world. The next step was the European Championships in Gravelines, France. There we took the title of vice European Champion- the silver medal. The only big difference was that our team wasn’t composed of the same rowers. We didn’t have Jana Nussbaumer but instead we rowed with Olivia, a teammate who is now in the single for the World Championships.

 

 

Tell us more about your experience at the Junior European Championships?

CELIA

Of the four of us I am the one with the least experience as this is my first year representing the Swiss team. It was very exciting to look over to the other lane and see a different country.

EMMA

In the past I have always rowed with Eline Rol as my stroke in all of my team boats. It was an interesting experience to be following a different stroke.

LISA

My experience was very eye opening during the final of the European’s. It was the first time I was able to push my mental limits and power through every single stroke during the race to bring us to the title we accomplished.

JANA

I wasn’t yet integrated into the quad team because I was in the single. I had a lot of pressure laying on my shoulders because I had to qualify a place for the Youth Olympic games this year.

Jana- you had such  a great result in the JW1x at the Europeans! How do you manage moving from the 1x to working in a bigger team in the 4x?

JANA

Having been in the quad in the past years, it was natural to find my place in the boat.

What's the lake / river like where you train?

TEAM

Each rower trains around the country on their own with their club team. When we come together as the Swiss team, we train on Lake Sarnen in Obwalden, Switzerland.

 

 

So have any of you raced at the Junior World Championships before, or is this your first time? If so, what was your experience like in Trakai / Rotterdam?   

CELIA

I have had no past experience with the Swiss team. My goal next year is to represent the Swiss team for the second time at the World Championships!

EMMA

I did the World Championships in Trakai. We placed 3rd overall in the quad. It was an intense experience because I caught a crab during the semifinals!

LISA

In Trakai, it was very surprising to be on the podium having come 5th at the European championships earlier that year.

JANA

I was both at Rotterdam and Trakai. In Rotterdam I was only 15 and rowing with 18 years olds with more experience than me. Because of the age and experience difference, I learned a lot. Thanks to that I was more prepared for Trakai last year.

 

 

What does it mean to you to be competing at an event like Junior Worlds? What are you most excited about?

CELIA

I am really excited to row with these girls who have so much past experience. I also can’t wait to live the feeling of international race with so many countries.

EMMA

I can’t wait to see how we compare to other countries and teams. Let's see how we do having been bronze medallists last year!

LISA

I trained all year with this race as my objective. And I hope that the hard work pays off.

JANA

I’m really excited to get to row with my amazing team. We have worked so hard for this and hope nothing comes in our way to get to where we want to go.

It must be very exciting to watch Jeannine Gmelin having so much success recently. Who inspires you in rowing?

TEAM   

Jeannine is a big inspiration to us; seeing at what speed she has climbed up the steps of the podium in only a few years. Especially in spite of her height compared to others. Another big source of inspiration is the lightweight Swiss men’s quad at the U23 world championships last year. Making a world best time is impressive. Go Young Guns!

What is your favourite thing about rowing?

CELIA    

Seeing the time we spend with each other, I really enjoy the family feeling. The best thing is being all happy together especially after a hard race. When I am in the boat nothing else can distract me and I feel free.

EMMA

The team feeling!

LISA    

I love early morning sessions. The birds waking up, the sun rising, the flat water, the morning dew. The whole thing gives me the feeling that I’m in another world. I forget my worries.

JANA   

I really like the fact that rowing combines technique, speed and force, not to forget mental strength.

 

 

What are your goals for the future?

CELIA

The Olympics! And another medal at the World Championships next year.

EMMA

In the near future, my goal is a medal at the World Championships. I will see what I do after that.

LISA

One of my big dreams are the Olympic games! But first I hope to have a successful time as an U23 athlete and represent Switzerland at a higher level.

JANA

My goal is to be as successful as an U23 and the big dream for all rowers is to go to the Olympics.

 We wish Celia, Emma, Lisa and Jana the very best of luck with their campaign in  Račice in a few weeks time!

 

 


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