On March 5th at Lake Karapiro Emma Twigg secured her return to international rowing’s world circuit in peculiar fashion.
The three-time Olympian was competing in Rowing New Zealand’s single sculls trials, but the race became just a formality, as the competition withdrew.
“Racing yourself isn’t as easy as having someone next to you pushing you the whole way, it's more of a mental battle when it’s like that,” said Twigg.
The 2014 World Champion took a two-year break from the sport following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and is now firmly on the comeback trail, winning last month’s New Zealand Nationals in emphatic fashion.
Twigg placed a heart-breaking fourth at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games but says it’s not the allure of an Olympic medal that’s driving her.
“At the end of the day having a medal or not having a medal isn’t going to define me, it’s more about what I get out of the sport and what I can give back to other people.
“I think if I have that attitude and I’m the best I can be then I should be able to come away with a medal as well.”
And Twigg’s doing just that, enjoying the day-to-day life of being an athlete as she trains at Lake Karapiro.
“I’ve made huge gains since getting back in the boat, technically there was a lot of room to improve and there still is which is exciting because it means I can only get faster.
“Physically I feel great, mentally I feel great, so I’m looking forward to the international season.”
Twigg’s first international test of 2019 will be at the Rowing World Cup in Serbia in June.