Indian rowers’ Tokyo dream begins at Pune’s Army Rowing Node

Kirti Patil
Thursday, 13 December 2018

When your hands are ripped and body is sour. Rowers get up and ask for more.
— Sir Steve Redgrave, (5-time Olympic gold medallist & 9 World Championship gold medals)
British rower Sir Steve’s this inspiring quote hangs on ARN wall

PUNE: With just over eight months remaining for the all-important Olympic qualification to start, Indian rowers are readying to chop the waters at the Army Rowing Node in the College of Military Engineering (CME) campus, which is set to host the 37th Senior National Rowing Championship from December 17 to 23.

India’s only Olympic-sized rowing facility will be the theatre that will host over 395 rowers from affiliated states and units who will strive to make mark at this all-important Nationals-performance at which will form the base for the selection of Indian team for the 2019 World Rowing championship.

“Pre-Olympic year is very important for achieving the qualification mark, so this National championship makes it all the more crucial to do well and earn required ranking points to get selected into the Indian team,” informed Col PVR Subramanian, Organising Secretary and head of ARN.

Coming in just over two months after a creditable performance at the Asian Games in Palembang, this National championship assumes importance as ever-improving rowers hope to qualify in more disciplines than single event show at 2016 Rio Olympics.

From Indonesia, India returned with one gold and two bronze medals-the quartet of Swaran Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh-winning gold medal in Coxless Fours event, the pair of Rohit Kumar and Bhagwan Singh winning bronze in Lightweight Double Sculls and Dushyant Chauhan taking bronze medal in Lightweight Single Sculls.

Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, the ARN remains only veritable facility that could be described as of ‘Olympic standards’ and no doubt army rowers dominate the waters when it comes to the National championship.

“We are delighted to be hosting the championship again after having conducted the 36th Nationals last year,” said Col Subramanian.

“This one is very crucial for the selection of Indian rowing teams for coming international championships in 2019, the year preceding the Olympic year.”

The first and the biggest qualification event will be 2019 World Championship at Linz Ottensheim in Austria, from August 25 to September 1.

Rowers will have to give their best shot at the Nationals here in Pune under the conditions are just about getting ideal for rowing with winter setting in nicely.

At the senior Nationals, the ARN will be for the first time conducting competition in mixed event.

“There will be only one mixed event at the national championship-Mixed Double sculls over 500m,” informed Col Subramanian.

Mixed events in rowing though is yet to be introduced in the international events, but with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adopting to implement gender equality in all its events, slowly the sporting world is moving towards it in steps at various sports.

Rowing is set to join without doubt and having mixed event is a sure step in that direction.


2000 Sydney:

Kasam Khan and Inderpal Singh (Coxless pair)


2004 Athens:

PT Paulose (Single sculls)


2008 Beijing:

Bajrang Lal (Single sculls)



Manjeet Singh and Devender Kumar (LW Double sculls)


2012 London:

Swaran Singh (Single sculls)



Manjeet Singh and Sandeep Kumar (LW Double sculls)


2016 Rio:

Dattu Bhokanal (Single sculls)


@ Linz Ottensheim, Austria: from August 25 to September 1, 2019
- The World Rowing Championship regatta is the biggest annual World Rowing event and is held at the end of the season with the regatta held over eight days using a progression system from heats through to finals.
- In a pre-Olympic year the World Rowing Championships are qualifier event for the Olympic Games such as it would be in 2019 for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- In an Olympic year the World Rowing Championships is held for International boat classes only along with the World Junior Championships.

Events at National Rowing Championships
Senior Men
Single Sculls: M1X 2000M & 500M
Double Sculls: M2X 2000M & 500M
Coxless Pairs: M2- 2000M & 500M
Coxless Fours: M4- 2000M & 500M
LW Double Sculls: LM2X 2000M & 500 M
Double Sculls (Civilian only): M2X 2000M
Coxless Fours (Civilians only): M4X2000 M

Senior Women
Single Sculls: W1X 2000M & 500M
Double Sculls: W2X 2000M & 500M
Coxless Pairs: W2- 2000M & 500M
Coxless Fours: W4- 2000M & 500M

Double sculls: Mix2X 500M

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