27 July 16:17 (BST)

Italy's ROSETTI rediscovers passion for rowing after years of roaming distant shores

GLASGOW - A world junior champion in the men's quadruple sculls in 2005, Bruno ROSETTI was one of Italy's brightest young rowing talents when he quit the sport in 2009, aged just 21.

"I didn't want to row any more, I was bored and had enough of it," said ROSETTI, now 30, who will compete in his first European championships at Glasgow 2018 as part of the men's eight.

"It became a pain. Rowing is a sport that takes 110 per cent out of you and requires lots of sacrifices.

"From age 16, I was away every winter and summer at a training camp or competition. I just wanted to spend weekends with my friends and make new experiences."

In 2009, ROSETTI started working for an Italian company that designs and builds offshore oil plants. A year later he was sent to Island D, an oilfield in the Caspian Sea, 80km off the coast of Kazakhstan.

"I worked 12 hours a day as the plant's electrical and instrumentation inspector.

"There were 4,000 people living in the oilfield. We would spend up to a month there without returning to land. Conditions were hard, minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter and 45C in summer, but it was a fantastic experience."

After four years, ROSETTI moved to Australia, where he picked fruit and worked in restaurants and for removals companies, then travelled the world.

But rowing was still in his heart and in 2016 he returned to his birthplace of Ravenna, near Italy's Adriatic coast, where he started coaching at the club where his own rowing career began.

"A month later, the Italian championships took place in my home town," he said. "I decided to enter and finished second in the men's double sculls.

"Remembering the fatigue of training, I still didn't want to get back in a boat. But in 2017 I was asked to try for the national team. Eventually I was reunited with my rowing friends and family as if I had never left for eight years."

At the 2017 World Championships in Sarasota, USA, ROSETTI was part of the men's eight who claimed bronze, Italy’s first medal in the event at a major championships for 11 years.

"Being a key member of a team is wonderful. The break from rowing helped me a lot and I see things with a different spirit. In the offshore plant at the beginning, I felt lonely and desperate. Now I have no fears.

"I don't regret anything. Rowing has always been a love-hate relationship for me. Today it's just love."

The Glasgow 2018 rowing competition begins on Thursday 2 August at Strathclyde Country Park.

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