Athlete of the Month - November 2017
Twenty-three year old Italian Matteo Lodo has had a dream start to life in the men’s pair. He and teammate Giuseppe Vicino won gold at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in their first year racing the pair at the elite level. Lodo is no stranger to the top though – he took Olympic bronze in the four at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
World Rowing: What did it mean to you to win the 2017 World Rowing Championships in your first year racing the pair at the top level?
Matteo Lodo: Winning the world title has been hugely emotional. I've been rowing for four years in the four and winning at my debut in the pair has been great. Competing with champions such the Sinkovic brothers made it even more exciting.
WR: How have you found changing from the four to the pair at the top level?
ML: We got along very well because Giuseppe (Vicino) and I trained in the pair in 2015 and 2016, so it turned out to be natural to row together in the pair. We ‘fine-tuned’ some details and it has all worked out well.
WR: What was your race plan?
ML: Our race strategy was evident. We knew that Croatia had a strong pace but we had a strong final rush. I had to stay as close as possible to them and then try to sprint as fast as we could. It worked and we won. Thanks also to our coaches and to what we've learned from them.
WR: What do you bring to the boat, and what does Giuseppe bring?
ML: Giuseppe and I are very similar. We have good technique and this avoids the boat slowing down. We are not as physically strong (as other crews), so we try to get better and more efficient with technique.
WR: Are you friends outside of the boat or is your relationship strictly a rowing one? ML: We have always been together and so we are friends even out of the boat. We've grown up together and I've been winning World and Olympics medals with him since 2011. We started as juniors through to seniors. I've always been his number two in the boat.
WR: Did you ever do other sports?
ML: I played volleyball and basketball, horse riding and swimming but not at a competition level.
WR: Why did you choose rowing?
ML: I started rowing when I was 13 and I chose it because my cousins Alessio and Luca Sartori, both top international rowers, introduced me to the sport - and I've loved it.
WR: Where do you train?
ML: I train in Sabaudia in winter and in Piediluco in summer. They are two lakes with mild temperatures, especially in winter when it's colder and this makes it possible to train at best.
WR: What is your next big goal?
ML: We will train for the European and World Championships next season, maybe we will take part at the Henley Royal Regatta.
WR: How will you spend the winter?
ML: I will keep on training for the next season trying to stay as close as possible to my family.
WR: What food could you not live without?
ML: I can't live without meat cooked no matter how. It’s is my favourite food and I particularly like beef.
WR: What do you do when you are not rowing?
ML: I go out with my friends, I like riding motorbikes - and I have one.