Rising Star - October 2015
At 22, Romania’s Toader-Andrei Gontaru is one of his nation’s most promising rowers. For the past five years, he has medalled repeatedly at the World Rowing Junior and Under-23 Championships, becoming a World Champion in the men’s four and in the men’s pair, both at the junior and the under-23 levels.
In the men’s four in 2015, he raced to his first senior world medal at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne and then at the World Rowing Championships, Gontaru helped qualify his boat for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
World Rowing sees Gontaru as an athlete to look out for.
I discovered rowing… on the Internet. Shortly afterwards I was selected to join the CSS Orsova Club.
If I was not rowing, my sport would be… football, which remains my passion.
The result I am most proud of so far is… at the World Rowing Under 23 Championship where I won gold in the pair, but I am also proud of my result at the 2015 World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne (bronze medal).
Before I race, I always… listen to music that helps me relax.
My most difficult race so far was… the B-final at the World Rowing Championships where I had to finish in the top eleven to qualify for Rio.
On the erg, my best score is… 6.09.9.
My least favourite training session is… when I race alongside the women’s eight (Toader-Andrei's girlfriend, Irina Dorneanu is in the women's eight).
My favourite training session is… in springtime, because I feel in good shape.
Outside of rowing, I… love to travel, watch movies at the cinema and try all kinds of foods.
I am motivated by… wanting to become one of the best.
My biggest strength is… my brain.
In my fridge you will always find… fruit, vegetables and milk.
If I could change one thing about the world it would be… to make the world’s thinking and the feelings of hatred become feelings of appreciation.
My non-rowing friends think that rowing is… a very difficult sport and full of risks.
In five years’ time… I want to win a medal at the World Rowing Championships and at the Olympic Games. Why not?