Not yet 24 years old, New Canaan native Andrew Campbell Jr. continues to rewrite the U.S. rowing record books.
Competing for a U.S. team that took home five medals at the 2014 World Rowing Under-23 championships on Saturday, July 26, Campbell became the first U.S. rower ever to win consecutive gold medals in international lightweight single sculls competition. The 23-year-old Harvard graduate was the first American to take first place last summer won by multiple boat lengths in this year's race in Varese, Italy, with a time of 6:54:59.
"It's amazing," Campbell told USrowing.org. "I'm so happy to have been able to repeat last year's performance. It's hard coming back the next year, because you're defending. To put that out of mind is difficult, but I think we did a good job handling it and taking this and its own separate piece."
Campbell led each of his preliminary races from start to finish, competing in one of the largest fields of the championships. Twenty-four other rowers raced in the single sculls, including Enes Kusku, of Turkey, who came in second at 7:00:14 and Italy's Francesco Pegoraro, who claimed bronze with a time of 7:00:58.
"In Boston, most of time I'm training alone. I train against the pace coach every day. I'm very used to what kind of splits I should be seeing, in what kind of conditions. In this race, I saw myself moving away from the rest of the field and knew that I wanted to put up the best piece I possibly could, regardless of what everyone else was doing," Campbell said to USrowing.org. "So I really focused on that split, battling it down below 1:45 the whole time.
"It's not my PR, but I think in these conditions, that's a really good result. I'm happy with the piece. I had a good lift. Most of all, this gives me a lot of confidence going into senior worlds. I'll take a few days off and start working the front end again, start working the catch with Charley Butt."
Campbell's young career has already taken him around the globe from Harvard to Italy, Amsterdam and even South Korea. During and in between his travels, Campbell has worked with many top-level rowing coaches, which have helped him hone his remarkable ability.
"His result today is a product of his hard work and so many good coaches," coach Linda Muri Campbell said to USrowing.org. "He has the big team with Olga and Yan [Vengerovskiy] behind him at Maritime. He does so much work with Charley [Butt]. Being a part of a team and the support network makes a big difference. He is just an amazing rower."