Roth was born in Duisburg before moving to Zurich, Switzerland, but he continued to visit family and friends around Duisburg.
The 18-year-old has already competed for the Swiss national team and last year he finished third in the men’s single sculls at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships. This year he enters the under-23 ranks in the men’s double sculls.
Roth says he’s not sure about his chances as he moves into a higher rowing class, but also because the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more uncertainty. There has been no racing and often limited opportunities to be on the water this season and there’s no certainty of who will be able to make it to this regatta. Roth himself used the last few months as a time to study and take advantage of home training on the indoor rowing machine, bike and using the weights room.
“I caught up with winter training in the spring,” says Roth. “And now, we are training more with the squad – five days in the training centre at Sarnen, two days at home at my rowing club.”
Roth started his sporting career in ice hockey, but through his father’s persuasion Roth joined Grashopper Zurich. “I tried it and really liked it,” says Roth. “On the water I can switch off for two hours after school. I like the direct influence of nature when rowing. I also like the cross-generational cooperation. It’s easy to make friends. You are a competitor on the water and friends on land.”
Long term Roth has his eye on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. But right now all eyes will be on the Wedau regatta course in Duisburg where Roth, along with his fellow competitors, will be racing in their first – and potentially only – international regatta for 2020. Unfortunately family and friends will not be there in person as spectators are not allowed at the venue (due to Covid-19).
“That’s a shame,” says Roth. “But for us athletes, the main thing is that this regatta takes place at all. The disappointment of the cancellation of the World Rowing Championships was already big.” So Roth has every intention of taking his best game to Duisburg.
Copy thanks to Detlev Seyb