Olympian Dattu Bhokanal won the gold medal at the 36th senior national rowing championships in Pune on Friday. He bagged the yellow metal in the Open Weight Single Sculls category. Along with him AsianGames bronze medallist Dushyant Chauhan also secured the gold in the lightweight single sculls category. In the finals of the national level championships, the duo of Dattu Bhokanal and Swarn Singh Virk were tipped to have a face-off and it lived up to the expectations as both rowers gave their best. Ultimately it was Bhokanal who came out with flying colours.
Dattu’s journey to the top has been anything but phenomenal. The 25-year-old was an unknown athlete until a few years back. But he came to the limelight when he qualified for the Rio Olympics in 2016. While he did not bag a medal at the Olympics Bhokanal made a name for himself after securing the 13th place in the men’s single sculls. Incidentally, this was the highest position ever achieved by an Indian rower in the Olympics. Despite personal odds, Dattu has overcome them with aplomb and is all set for his next goal at the 2018 Asian Games.