Southland rower Nathan Cohen has a spring in his step when he leaps out of bed each morning to practise for the world championships.
You couldn't blame Cohen if he grizzled a little when his alarm sounds.
Awaiting him are two gruelling sessions at the New Zealand Rowing's Waikato-based headquarters at Lake Karapiro.
However, Cohen says he is loving his training as he eyes the big stage later this year.
The Invercargill Rowing Club member is just eight weeks away from starting at the elite rowing world championships in his home country.
It will be the first time the event has been staged in New Zealand since 1978.
"Some people say it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it's more than that. It's pretty easy to get out of bed in the morning at the moment."
Last Friday, Cohen was named in the New Zealand double sculls boat alongside Joseph Sullivan.
The Southlander is no stranger to the biggest of stages, considering he has been to world championships and an Olympic Games.
However, he will once again head into this year's championships with a new combination.
Before 2008, Cohen had forged a doubles combination with Matthew Trott.
In 2008, Rob Waddell came out of retirement and, after missing out to Mahe Drysdale in the single for the Beijing Olympics, Waddell was then chucked into the double with Cohen.
Cohen now is forging a new rowing relationship with Sullivan that he hopes will lead to the podium and possibly the gold medal at Lake Karapiro.
The new combination had a less-than-pleasing international debut at the June World Cup regatta in Munich, where they did not qualify for the A-final.
However, Cohen and Sullivan rebounded quickly to pick up a bronze medal at the next World Cup regatta in Switzerland.
They now believe they will be a threat come Lake Karapiro in October and November.
Cohen says the next eight weeks are huge for him and his rowing partner as they tune up their boat in the leadup to the world championships.
*Nathan Cohen is one of five Southlanders who will be competing at the elite world championships in Lake Karapiro, near Cambridge this year. Southland Times rowing writer Logan Savory will be at the event in October and November as the Southlander's compete on the world stage.
- The Southland Times
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