Rowing: How the fear of losing drives Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue's unprecedented success

Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue .
Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue . Photo credit: Photosport.

World champion double scullers Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue will line up on Monday night's heat at the World Championships in Bulgaria with a huge target on their back.

Unbeaten since they took over the boat at the start of 2017, Loe and Donoghue's rise in the sport has been nothing short of meteoric.

"You can't help but step back and think this is crazy," Loe said.

"We haven't been beaten yet and that's a track record we want to continue."

But Loe admits the swift and perfect run to the top hasn't calmed the nerves at the start line.

"There's added pressure you know," Loe said.

"I think we're expected to do well and you've just got to thrive on that and do it."

Loe credits much of their success to their chemistry as a crew.

"You're so nervous [at the start line] that we just break the tension," Loe laughs.

"She'll be like oh you've done something with your hair? And I'm like yeah, well I washed it… it's all so trivial that it calms the mood for sure."

Loe's the self-confessed outgoing type, while Donoghue maintains she's of a quieter nature.

But ultimately they both see eye to eye on one thing – winning - and that continues when they start their World Championship defence.

"You can't just turn up to your final and expect for it to go well… you have to do every training like it's the final of World Champs," Loe maintains.

"There always is [the fear you may not get it right] and I've said it before every race, someone has to win and someone has to lose and we do everything we can to make sure we're on the right side of the buzzer."

"I think we're good enough."

Loe and Donoghue start their campaign in Bulgaria at 8pm on Monday (NZT).