Updated: July 28, 2021 10:09:42 am
Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh clocked 6 minutes 24.41 seconds to be placed sixth in the semifinals 2 of the men’s lightweight double sculls at the Tokyo Olympics rowing events at Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday.
By reaching the semifinals, the Indian Army pair – Arjun is the bower, Arvind is the stroker – produced the best-ever Olympic performance by Indian rowers. The two had finished fifth in their heats on Saturday.
In the 2008 Beijing Games, Manjeet Singh and Devender Singh Khandwal finished 18th while in the 2016 Rio Games, Dattu Baban Bhokanal was ranked 13th but in the single sculls.
In the six-team final B on Thursday morning, to decide the positions from 7 to 12, India who got the first lane will fight it out with Poland (6:12.79), Canada( 6:18.29), Norway (12:16.25) from semifinal A while from B, Ukraine (6:14.57) and Spain (6:15.49) qualified.
“All is not lost. We refuse to believe that we finished last or so until the event is completed. It’s part and parcel of the life of a sportsperson and that’s not an excuse either. We have one more chance to make amends and I’m sure both Arvind and Arjun will do a better show in the final B for the positions,” Ismail Baig, the national coach, told indianexpress.com from Tokyo on Wednesday after the event.
In the semis, till the 1500m-mark, Indians rowing in lane six were lying fourth and further ahead they faced choppy waters and tailwind too.
“We started well with great strokes from the beginning only to lose the advantage at the finish. Of course, the conditions were tough but it was the same for all the competitors. It was not warm in Pune or Chennai where we train. But no excuses, our rivals did better,” the Dronacharya awardee reminded.
Ireland’s duo Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan who clocked 6:05.33 in the semifinal B, in which Indians too figured, set both the World and Olympic records.
The old world best time of 6:05.36 was set by South Africa’s duo of Thompson and Smith in the 2014 Amsterdam World Championships while the Olympic best time of 6:10.99 stood in the name of Purchase and Hunter of Great Britain set in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“One can decide about position only after tomorrow’s final B,” Baig said.
Know your event
- Two rowers with two oars each in a scull boat.
- Boats will be long, narrow and broadly semi-circular in cross-section to reduce the drag
- The average weight of the rowers cannot exceed 70kg
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