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Digital Subscriptions > Row360 > Issue 028 – Jul | Aug 2019 > AUSTRIA’S FINEST


Magdalena Lobnig
Photography: GEPA PICTURES

Austrian rowing’s leading lady, 29-year-old single sculler Magdalena Lobnig, never intended to continue rowing after Rio 2016. If it hadn’t been for her disappointing sixth place finish in the Olympic final – immediately putting paid to any retirement plans and setting her instead firmly on a path to Tokyo – she may never have grown into one of the world’s fastest women on the water.

In the three years since that crushing defeat on the Lagoa, Lobnig has trans-formed into the most consistent podium finisher in the increasingly tight and competitive field of women’s international single sculling. She has amassed no fewer than nine medals from 11 inter-national appearances since Rio. With just three weeks to go before she attempts to secure a qualification spot for Tokyo – in front of a home crowd at the world championships in Linz – I catch up with her as she looks to continue her impressive medal haul. “I feel like it has never been so hard as it is now,” Lobnig confides, speaking on the phone after her second training session that day. She is referring to the level of competition currently in the women’s single scull. “Just making it to an A final, let alone medalling is really difficult in a field as tight as the one we have at the moment – there are just so many good people.”

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Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.