Jakarta: Olympian Dattu Bhokanal finally ended his miserable medal-less run since he came into limelight after qualifying for 2016 Rio Games when he teamed up with Swaran Singh, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh to win India’s first gold medal from rowing at the 18th Asian Games, at the JSC Lake in Palembang on Friday.
After a forgettable day on Thursday for Indian rowing wherein the oarsmen failed to win a medal of any colour from the eight finals, it was Dushyant who broke the jinx early in the morning when he won bronze medal in Lightweight Single Sculls and then the pair of Rohit Kumar and Bhagwan Singh too won bronze medal in Lightweight Double Sculls.
The two early medals gave enough inspiration to the army quartet of of Dattu, Sawarn, Om and Sukhmeet to go for the kill and they did it in style to win the gold medal by clocking 6 minutes 17.13 seconds. Hosts Indonesia (6:20.58) and Thailand (6:22.41) were placed second and third respectively.
This was India’s only the second gold since Indian rowers began participating in the rowing events at the Asian Games. The first was won by Bajrang Lal Takhar in men’s singles sculls at the 2010 Guangzhou.
Earlier, Dushyant won the country its first rowing medal at the ongoing Games, claiming a bronze in men’s lightweight single sculls with 7:18.76. Korea’s Hyunsu Park and Hong Kong’s Chun Gun Chiu won the gold and silver medals respectively.
Then, Rohit and Bhagwan clocked 7:04.61 to win bronze in their event, while Japan’s Miyaura Masayuki and Takeda Masahiro won the gold with a timing of 7:01.70 while Koreans Kim Byunghoon and Lee Minhyuk (7:03.22) bagged silver.
The 25-year-old Dushyant, who began rowing in 2012 at an army training Camp in Roorkee, had won a bronze in the last edition of the Games, too, in Incheon.
If men excelled, Indian women’s four team turned out to be a disappointment as they finished sixth and last in the final. Continental powerhouse China won gold with 7:05.50, while Vietnam (7:14.52) and Indonesia (7:19.02) took silver and bronze respectively.
Lightweight Single Sculls: 1. Hyunsu Park (Kor) 7:12.86; 2. Hin Chun Chiu (Hkg) 7:14.16; 3. Dushyant (Ind) 7:18.76.
Lightweight Double Sculls: 1. Masayuki Miyaura and Masahiro Takeda (Jpn) 7:01.70; 2. Byunghoon Kim and Minhyuk Lee (Kor) 7:03.22; 3. Rohit Kumar and Bhagwan Singh (Ind) 7:0461.
Quadruple Sculls: 1. India (Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh) 6:17.13; 2. Indonesia (Kakan Kusmana, Edwin Rudiana, Sulpianto and Memo) 6:20.58; 3. Thailand (Piyapong Arnunamang, Methasit Phromphoem, Orem Nampratueng, Jaruwat Saensuk) 6:22.41.
Lightweight Eight: 1. Indonesia 6:08.88; 2. Uzbekistan 6:12.46; 3. Hong Kong 6:14.46; 4. India (Akshat, Jegan Sekar, Hardeep Singh, Sumit, Bhopal Singh, Jagvir Singh, Tejash Shinde, Pranay Naukarkar, Lakshman Maradapa) 6:15.00.
Four: 1. China (Liqin Yi, Linlin Guo, Min Zhang andFei Wang)7:05.50; 2. Vietnam (Thi Hao Dinh, Thi An Tran, Thi Hien Le and Thi Hue Pham) 7:14.52; 3. Indonesia (Chelsea Corputty, Fitri Rahmanjani, Julianti, Yayyah Rokayah) 7:19.02;…6. India (Sanjukta Dung Dung, Annu, Navneet Kaur, Yamini Singh) 7:43.49.