Video Feature: Andrunache sets World Best Time
World Rowing’s video library is available to everyone. Have a look back through the archives and watch the final of the women's pair at the 2002 World Rowing Championships in Seville, Spain.
Georgeta Andrunache of Romania sat in the bow seat behind Viorica Susanu as the defending champions.
Four-time Olympic Champion Andrunache says this is one race she is most proud of, " I have and always feel the same emotions when I see it. This is because in that race, me and my colleague and also friend, Viorica Susanu, got the World Best Time. I remember 6:53.80. That time remains to this day."
Here are Andrunache's thoughts while watching the 2002 World Rowing Championships women's pair final.
Before the start: I remember I felt great stress because of the wind. Even if it was helping us (a tail wind), we were afraid of having the same bad experience as in 1999. We led the race and then lost it finishing sixth, but we were less experienced then.
So, due to that race we decided to change tactics. In 2002 I changed partners and training methods. We needed to show that it was a mistake in 1999. Everything seemed to be perfect except on the day we were about to compete. But... still we had to race.
When we left the shore, the coach gave us short commands. Viorica and I were so focused as if we were going to a fight. I felt the shiver in our boat :).
At the start: All I can remember is concentration, emotions, short commands, missing some words. Before the green light we said to each other, 'good luck!'
After the start: I remember it was a good start. Ukraine was the first to show. After 500m we got into first place. I saw Belarus and Canada as our main adversaries.
At half way: We did not have the mental or physical comfort we needed but we were ok. All I knew then was not to make mistakes. We had to lead the race. There was a terrible noise from the tribune. After a short while I saw we were the first.
I didn’t understand why our coach was shouting louder and louder to hurry and hurry! I knew we were in first place and the distance between us and second was enough to make sure we won.
At the finish: We got the finish line and Viorica wouldn’t stop. She didn't realise that it was finished. When I saw the electronic table I finally understood the shouting of our coach. He wanted it to be a World Best Time. And it was! We were so happy. There was joy and happiness all around us and our team.
I never thought in any of my races of nothing then but the race itself: The heat, adversaries, the boat etc. It was just short words between us or from the coach and maximum concentration.
Andrunache went on to row at three more Olympics and retired from international rowing in 2012 following the Olympic Games. She says the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games hold very special memories for her. "From the beginning I have treated this sport seriously, with responsibility and passion. For this reason every race I competed in had its own story in that it gave me a lot of moments of satisfaction."