A failed basketball player who becomes a world-class rower. This is the sporting story, in a nutshell, of Marco Dri, a Gonarsese member of the Canoa San Giorgio, already the 2017 Italian champion in the under-17 single and able to win, last week, the bronze medal at the Under 19 World Rowing Championships at Lake Varese.
The eighteen year old from Friuli, paired with the Lombard Marco Selva, climbed to the third step of the podium in the men’s doubles specialty, preceded only by Germany and Turkey.
“More than the final itself – explains Marco, a student of the scientific high school of applied sciences, at Malignani -, in Varese the hardest obstacle was the semifinal match, in which we suffered a little, qualifying for the final act. only for 7 cents, while recording an excellent time.
Then, when we realized we were going to play for the medals, we relaxed and just thought about doing our best.
We didn’t start with the goal of an important result, but with technique, concentration and hunger to reach the top, we achieved a really important time. The podium is a lot of stuff ».
Who do you dedicate the world bronze medal to?
“Certainly to my family, who have always supported me, in all the ups and downs. And to the coach Massimiliano Candotti, who made me grow both as an athlete and as a person. For years, I have spent hours of daily training with him: I am a bit gruff, just like him: we feel good ».
It is right to underline the crescendo of results in recent years.
«This year I have grown a lot. I started juggling in the top ten in Italy, already well. Now, especially in terms of head, conviction and technical and athletic possibilities, together with Marco Selva we have reached a very high level. We have matured by competing. The work with the technicians is paying off ».
Last year you competed with Emanuele Bergamin. How was the couple with Selva formed?
«In the weeks preceding the World Championship, in training in the meeting at the Piediluco lake, we started with the four of sculls. Then the technicians realized that we could be a winning couple and they put us to the test. Among other things, the same coaches of the National team, Valter Molea and the blue staff, say that the double is the most difficult boat: the single player either goes or doesn’t go; to get the four of a pair to go, you have to find four good ones. To win the double you need to have two strong athletes ».
The beginnings of Marco Dri?
“I used to play basketball in Gonars, my country. Then I decided to change and my great-aunt, who worked at the bar of Canoa San Giorgio, invited me to see the races. I started essentially to let the belly drop and, from there I continued. I have to thank the company from San Giorgio for making the facilities and materials available to me: it is fortunate for me to have all this close to home ».
«Now I want to compete against those older than me: I am very excited after the bronze medal in Varese. I’m targeting the U23 European Championships, in Belgium in early September ».