Tokyo Olympics: Indian rowers finish at 11th position producing best-ever result at the Games
Rowers Arjun Lal and Arvind Singh end a historic run by placing 11th in the Finals B of Men's Lightweight Double Sculls event,
Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh produced the best-ever performance for the country in rowing at the Olympics with an 11th finish in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. Both, Arjun and Arvind finished 5th in Final B at the Sea Forest Waterway on Thursday with the timing of 6:29.66 ahead of Norway, who did not start.
The rowers had made India proud while also making history in the process by being the first Indian rowers to qualify for Semi-Finals A/B. The Indian duo started slowly in the heats by finishing 16.59 seconds behind the group winners, which sent them to the repechage round, where they redeemed themselves and finished third.
The duo had also made the Indian Army proud by creating history and achieving India's best finish since single sculler Dattu Bhokanal, who finished 13th at the 2016 Rio Games. Arvind joined the Army to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and picked up the sport there.
While, Arjun was introduced to the sport by India's first gold medalist rower in Asian Games, Bajrang Lal Takhar when he joined the Rajputana Rifles in 2015.
The two Indian rowers were a relatively unknown commodity during the previous edition of the Olympics, making this feat more magical and awe-striking as it was a top 12 finish in their maiden campaign. Legendary coach Ismail Baig was one of the first to recognize the strengths and potential of the duo and chose them to train under him at the Army Institute of Sports in 2018.
They were a backup for Asian games bronze medal-winning duo Rohit Kumar and Bhagwan Singh in 2018. After a year of persistence and hard work, they got their chance at the 2019 Asian Championships and rewarded their coach's faith in them by claiming a silver during India's five-medal haul.
The Tokyo Olympics will not be the first or the last time we have heard of this duo as they have bright futures with a clear aim at the podium for Paris 2024 with better experience and preparation.