Rowing: Olympic champion Emma Twigg prepares for 'last' world championships with charity row

Just weeks out from the rowing world championships, Emma Twigg's using a charity fundraiser to aid her training.

Next month, the Olympic single sculls gold medallist will row a half marathon on an erg for the Cancer Society and Daffodil Day, and she wants other Kiwis to do the same.

As she eyes the podium, Twigg believes it's ideal preparation for not only the worlds, but her Olympic title defence at Paris next year.

As the rowing machine in her garage whirs, she's welcoming a new challenge.

"I think everybody is touched by cancer in some way or another," Twigg told Newshub. "It's something close to my heart.

Emma Twigg in World Cup action.
Emma Twigg in World Cup action. Photo credit: Photosport

"I lost my grandmother to cancer and there's a number of people close to me who are fighting it."

Twigg wants others to have a crack too.

"It could be on your bike, could be walking, could be on a scooter... could be running, if you're that way inclined." 

She will undertake the row, as she ramps up her preparation for next month's world championships in Serbia. After a frustrating bronze at last month's World Cup, she's determined to change the colour of the medal.

"It's pretty gruelling, when you're just under a month away from a world championships," said Twigg. "It's definitely part of the prep.

"I wanted to incorporate that, so it's steady state, long hard training session and all in the name of a good cause."

The next few months are pivotal for Twigg, 36, as she builds towards her Olympic title defence in less than 50 weeks at her last Games. She's already started thinking about signing off a career that also includes a world title and five other podium finishes.

"Every day, every day," she told Newshub. "It's a nice thing to think about really, because it makes you appreciate every day that much more."

As she creeps towards the finish-line of her career, Twigg's greeting the erg like both an old friend and foe.

"Variety is the spice of life," she said. "To throw things like this in there for a bit of motivation, when rowing training can be very monotonous... having challenges like this is really cool and important, I think, just to keep the freshness." 

That freshness could prove to be key, as she once again hunts Olympic glory.