The Army Rowing Node (ARN), which is located within the College of Military Engineering (CME) campus and trains oarsmen for competing at national and international levels, is focusing on four of its top men for qualification for the Rio Olympics.
As part of an initiative started by the Army to train sportsmen to deliver medal winning performances in the Olympics, ARN was established in the premises of the CME in 2001. Initially, the oarsmen used to practice in the river water. A 2200-meter long and 135-meter wide dedicated rowing channel was completed in 2012.
Currently, an average of 60 rowers selected from the Indian Army and outside train at ARN. The oarsmen who have trained at the node have won more than 200 medals at the national level and more than 50 at the international level rowing competitions. Seven rowers have represented India at the Olympics till date.
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The performances of ARN-trained rowers have improved over the years. The team stood 27th in the 2004 Athens, 21st in the 2008 Beijing, 16th in the 2012 London Olympics and 12th in the 2014 World Championship. ARN in-charge Colonel Charan Singh Baswana said, “We are currently focusing on four of our top performing players — Dushyant Singh, Nayab Rasool, Narsa Ram and Bhgwan Singh. We are confident that these men will give their best to qualify for the Olympics.”
According to ARN officials, the entire team of trainees undergo a rigorous regime of indoor and outdoor training and health and performance of each rower is examined in a scientific manner. Two coaches Rajpaul Singh Mokha, from the United States of America, and Olympian Inderpal Singh are currently training the rowers. Mokha said, “We are putting in all our efforts to bring an Olympic medal. As work in that direction, our emphasis is on understanding what the winners are doing. More training and focus, mental and physical strengthening is our priority.”
The rowers of the node have been conferred with 13 Arjuna Awards, one Dronacharya Award, two Vishisht Seva Medals till date. Six rowers from the node are heading to Thailand to represent India at Asian Ergometer Championship being held from April 23 to 27.