Kenia Lechuga, Lightweight Women's Single Sculls, Mexico, Silver, 2023 World Rowing Championships, Belgrade, Serbia © World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

ROWER OF THE MONTH: Kenia Lechuga made history last year when she became the first Mexican to win a senior World Rowing Championships medal – silver in the lightweight women’s single sculls. Now Lechuga is targeting her third Olympic Games. She’s the Rower of the Month for March 2024!

How did you start rowing? What do you like about rowing?

When I was in high school, the president of my rowing club invited me and other friends to join, I had never practised another sport before and I was very nervous because I didn’t know if I had the skills to do that but my friends and I accepted, just to have fun and spend our afternoons together. In my first competition I discovered that I’m so competitive and I felt hungry for more, I wanted to discover how to be faster (and I’m still looking for it) but also, I love the morning views and the amazing people who I met through the years in this sport.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

Definitely my silver in the World Rowing Championships last year in the lightweight women’s single sculls, the first medal for Mexico in history in this event, was a dream come true. And also, my performance in the waves in Rio 2016, where I discovered my superpower.

You keep improving, with better results each year – what is the secret to that improvement?

Maybe is because my road has not been easy and it keeps me alert and working harder each time, and also because I discovered the sport that I love and I really enjoy what I do.

What are your goals for 2024?

I want to have a ticket for Paris 2024 in the women’s single sculls, and of course I will look for my best performance in the World Rowing Championships in the lightweight women’s single sculls.

You’re one of Mexico’s most successful athletes; do you feel any responsibility to keep performing and leading on the world stage?

My intention is to motivate the rest of my teammates and Mexico can improve in rowing each time. Of course, I always feel pressure, every training session on water is like a competition to me. I train alone but the speed coach doesn’t lie to me.

What is your favourite training session?

On the water absolutely is more fun.

What does your life look like when you’re not rowing?

I like read, go hiking, sing (in the shower and the traffic) , watch movies, go shopping, and spend time with my pets.

Where is your favourite place to row?

Always home where I started to rowing in Nuevo León, Mexico. But for now, we have problems with the level of water and I train in Mexico City.

If you could give one piece of advice to a rower starting out, what would it be?

Enjoy every step, when your body is ready it will be fast and pay attention to technique, for me the most important is the connection between the boat and you.

Do you have a mentor or athlete that you admire?

I had the opportunity to meet Martin Sinkovic when he was in Mexico City and besides being an extraordinary athlete, he is very kind.