Molesey's Triggs Hodge finds fresh motivation from fatherhood and history books

Wandsworth Guardian: Daddy cool: Andrew Triggs Hodge, left, is ready to medal at the European Championships this week Daddy cool: Andrew Triggs Hodge, left, is ready to medal at the European Championships this week

Andrew Triggs Hodge has had a decent few years.
 

Two Olympic gold medals, three World Championships and last year he was named the British Olympic Association’s rower of 2013.

The 35-year-old is the oldest rower in the Great Britain squad preparing for the European Championships in Belgrade, with the Rio Olympics two years off.
 

For this event Hodge joins Molesey Boat Club teammates Moe Sbihi, and George Nash in the four boat, in a change from last season’s world beating eight.
 

Hodge, even having achieved all he has, insists the motivation for success is still there and the drive comes from trying to emulate those stars who came before him.
 

“You try and get as close as you can to Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave,” he said of the four and five-time Olympic gold medallists.
 

“In terms of winning streaks obviously that’s the ambition, to always maintain that position at the top.
 

“I think we have a huge precedent in what they achieved and I will always look up to those two, to what they did, and knowing what they’ve done.
 

“I rowed with Pincent for a few years, but never rowed with Steve, I heard a lot about them obviously, and with Jurgen [Grobler] we know what they went through.
 

“Most importantly how they had that mental discipline to keep going and to keep performing at the highest level through all the challenges they had.
 

“I think that’s the ambition, in some way, to see how close I can get to that.”
 

In October he and his wife Eeke had their first child, a little boy called Sebastian, and Hodge says that while the challenge of parenthood is huge he has no plans to slow down with an extra mouth to feed.
 

“I have a quite big degree of separation with what I do here,” he said.
 

“The pain is my own, the drive is my own, and what I bring to the family unit: the finances, the security, the stability and that, I have to get that from here, and that’s my own responsibility to have, to then be able to take it home.
 

“If you ever slow down you have to stop, this team is about winning, it’s about using each other to make sure you’re better year after year, the moment you think you need to step back a little bit you should be brave enough to call it and say this is time for someone else to fill my seat.”
 

The European Championships begin on Friday with the finals on Sunday.

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