Birthdate8 Mar 1989
Place of residence, China
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Athlete of the Month – October 2017
Jingli Duan has taken over the reins as China’s top woman single sculler and at the Rio Olympic Games she picked up the bronze medal in this boat class. This came after taking bronze at the 2014 and 2015 World Rowing Championships making her and Olympic Champion, Kim Brennan, the only women single scullers to medal at all three of these events.
World Rowing: How did you first get into Rowing?
Jingli Duan: I was originally a volleyball player but did not grow to the minimum height of 1.90m set by the national team. So on advice from my father and mother I made the switch to rowing in 2003.
WR: If not rowing would you be doing another sport?
JD: Yes (jokingly) I would probably still be a volleyball player!
WR: What did you know about rowing when you started?
JD: Not much I knew it was a tough Olympic sport that required strength and stamina but basically I needed to learn the sport from scratch.
WR: Are you a full-time rower?
JD: Yes, pretty much everything I do in my life revolves around my rowing career.
WR: What result are you most proud of?
JD: No so much a result but I am most proud to represent my country in the Olympics. It is the ultimate event for an athlete like me and it gives me a great feeling of pride and the atmosphere is so special.
WR: Where do you train?
JD: I mainly train at the Chinese National Training Centre. In the off-season, in the winter, we train more as a team group but as I get closer to competition it becomes more specialised and I tend to focus and train on my own, focusing on the event I am competing in.
WR: Describe a typical day for you in the rowing season?
JD: Eating, rowing and physical conditioning training, massage, stretching, more eating, resting and sleeping. Basically, I’m totally dedicated and focused on the sport!
WR: What is your best 2000m time on indoor rowing machine?
JD: 6 min 41 sec
WR: What do you like outside of rowing?
JD: I like listening to music and watching TV and movies.
WR: What is the motivation that keeps you rowing?
JD: My main motivation is to make my family and country proud as they support my so much.
WR: What is your next goal?
JD: (Jokingly) I really want to rest! In the long term I want to get back to training and hope to take part in the next Olympics and win a medal.
WR: What do you think you will be doing in ten years’ time?
JD: I hope to still be involved in rowing and give something back to the sport maybe as a coach? I have also recently got engaged and hope to be a mother and have a happy family life.