Athlete of the Month - May 2016
World Rowing: How did you discover rowing?
Nenad Bedik: I discovered rowing by accident. A coach came to my school and my friend who was a rower persuaded me to try ergometer. When the coach saw the result, asked me to come to training. I went soon after that to the Rowing Club Palic to try and I haven't stopped rowing since. I was 13 at the time.
WR: Were you involved in other sports before you began to row?
NB: I was involved in basketball for a couple of years before I started rowing.
WR: What is a typical training day like for you?
NB: I can’t disclose this secret! I get up at 6.45am and eat breakfast with my wife. My training starts at 8am. My partner and I finish training around 11am. After that, lunch, rest a bit 'till afternoon training. Afternoon training starts at 6.30pm. After training and dinner, I spend the evening with my wife or we go somewhere together.
WR: What is your favourite/least favourite training session?
NB: My favourite training session is rowing in a boat; when we are on the water. My least favourite is the ergo, especially in the summer !
WR: Where do you train?
NB: I am member of Rowing Club Partizan and whenever the weather conditions are good we train in Belgrade. During the winter we go to warmer places such as Turkey, Montenegro, Italy and in the summer we go to places cooler than Belgrade, like Silver Lake, Vlasina Lake in Serbia, Slovenia,…
WR: What is the status of rowing in Serbia?
NB: Thanks to good results achieved in past 20 years and winning medals, Serbia has good status. In the categorisation of sports in Serbia it is ranked in the first category.
WR: Do you receive any government/sponsorship funding or do you need to support yourself financially?
NB: I receive a scholarship of Ministry of Youth and Sport of Republic of Serbia and Serbian Olympic Committee.
WR: What is your personal best time on the indoor rowing machine over 2,000m?
NB: My best time on ergo is 5.55
WR: Do you study/work alongside rowing?
NB: I am still studying at the College of Sports and Health.
WR: How would you describe your main competitors in the men’s pair?
NB: The New Zealand pair. They are extremely physically and emotionally strong athletes with almost a perfect technical stroke. There is no obstacle they can’t overcome.
WR: You rowed for several years with Nikola Stojic, who just retired. What is your best memory of your partnership?
NB: The gold medal at the European Champs in 2013 and participation at the London Olympic Games. I am glad I rowed with Nikola in the pair. I learned a lot about rowing technique and about training from him. I am sorry he stoped training, but he achieved a lot for the Serbian Rowing Team. I hope he will stay an active member of the rowing family and transfer his knowledge and experience to younger generations.
WR: Last year, you changed partners. How do you and Milos Vasic complement one another in the boat?
NB: I am very happy Milos is my partner in the boat. We get along really great. We think the same way about training and our goals are the same. There is no pressure and we have a positive atmosphere. He is hard-working, ready to always do more during the training and during the race.
WR: Last year you experienced your most successful season to date, with three bronze medals won at the European Rowing Championships, World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne and the World Rowing Championships. What factors would you say contributed to this accomplishment?
NB: Yes, last season was really good! First of all, a clear goal we set at the beginning of the season. We followed a strict training plan by our Coach, Nebojsa Ilic. Nebojsa believed in us and followed us all the way to winning medals. He was with us when it was hard. Last year we fulfilled this plan 90 per cent. This brought us to this success.
WR: Having raced at the London Olympics, how do you feel this has prepared you for lining up in Rio?
NB: Since I have experience in taking part in Olympic Games, now I am more ready for Rio than I was for London.
WR: After Rio, how will you define if it was a successful regatta for you personally?
NB: It will be very successful if we win a medal in Rio. Taking part in Rio is very important but we are going to Rio with the goal of winning the medal, after many years. This medal is missing in our rowing house, so we must get it !
WR: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
NB: I would be a small dangerous insect, because it is small and hidden yet dangerous.
WR: What is something that can always be found in your fridge?
NB: Coca Cola, always. And something sweet.
WR: How do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
NB: I’ll have children that will cheer for me at the Olympic Games in 2024, and after that I will say goodbye to active rowing life.