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Rowing

Balraj Panwar clinches India's first Rowing quota for Paris Olympics

Balraj Panwar secured India's first rowing quota for Paris Olympics with a remarkable third-place finish in the men's single scull event.

Balraj Panwar clinches Indias first Rowing quota for Paris Olympics
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Rower Balraj Panwar in action at the Asian Games ( Photo credits: SAI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 April 2024 7:03 AM GMT

Balraj Panwar has made history by securing India's inaugural quota in rowing for the Paris Olympics. Panwar's remarkable achievement came when he clinched the third position in the men's single scull event during the 2024 World Asian and Oceanian Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Chungju, South Korea, on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Indian Army rower, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in his debut appearance at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China last year, showcased exceptional determination and skill. Clocking a time of 7:01.27 minutes in the 2000m race, Panwar sealed the coveted quota for India.

In the men's single scull category, securing a top-five finish guarantees a spot at the Olympics. Panwar's accomplishment ensures India's representation in rowing at the quadrennial event slated to commence on July 26.

Previously, India's endeavour to qualify in the men's lightweight double sculls category, witnessed during the Tokyo Olympics, faced disappointment as the nation failed to secure a quota.

Despite a valiant effort by the Indian duo of Ujjwal Kumar and Arvind Singh, who finished third in their event, the quota remained elusive. Panwar's journey to victory saw him exhibit resilience and strategic prowess on the waters. Overcoming a slow start, he surged ahead in the latter half of the race, overtaking his competitors to lead the pack. Despite a commendable effort by Vladislav Yakovlev of Kazakhstan, who ultimately claimed the gold, Panwar's performance remained a standout moment.

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