National gold a step towards Asiad dream for rower Arvind Singh

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The 2022 Asian Games gold medal has been his aim even before rower Arvind Singh qualified for the Tokyo Olympics along with his partner Arjun Lal Jat. The duo couldn’t win a medal at the Olympics but created history by becoming the first double scullers from the country to reach the semifinals.

They had to part ways soon after the Olympics as weight gain by Arjun meant Arvind had to compete in single sculls at the Asian Championships held in Pattaya, Thailand last month. He won gold in his first attempt, though in the lightweight category, and decided to compete in single sculls at the ongoing 39th Senior National Rowing and 23rd Open Sprints Championships in the Army Rowing Node, Pune. The result remained the same on Friday but this time the top-finish was more satisfying as Arvind outpaced experienced Jakar Khan to win gold.

“This is the only event I am competing at the nationals and it’s highly satisfying that I finished the race before Jakar, who has primarily been competing in single sculls,” Arvind told this daily. He clocked 7:27.0s while Jakar’s timing was 7:32.3s. Haryana’s Parminder Singh finished third with the timing of 7:34.9s.

The show has boosted the Uttar Pradesh rower’s confidence but he wants to work on his endurance ahead of the Asian Games to ensure he fulfills his dream of clinching gold at the quadrennial event. “Gold at the Asian Games is the goal. Although I haven’t made up my mind yet but going forward single sculls seems to be the most appropriate event for me. I will think over it during the break which I will take after the nationals. But to finish first there, I think I need to work on my endurance. The show here seems good enough to finish on the podium but for a gold medal, there is a lot of scope for improvement. Fortunately, I have time to work on my weaknesses,” added Arvind.

In other important results of the day, Dushyant and Sukhmeet Singh won the open men’s double sculls. Tokyo Olympian Arjun and his partner Ravi finished second followed by Gurpratap Singh and Kirandeep Singh. In the men’s lightweight double sculls, Arwinder Singh and Ajay Tyagi clinched the gold. Ashish Phugat and Sukhjinder Singh bagged silver while Jaspreet Singh and Bhagwan Singh pocketed bronze.
Khuspreet Kaur won gold in the open women’s single sculls. Kiran Devi and Mrunmayee Salgaonkar finished second and third respectively in the event. The duo of Avinash Kaur and Kiran finished first in women’s double sculls. Th Priya Devi and H Tendenthoi Devi won the silver while Deepika Xess and Reshma Kumari Minz finished with a bronze medal in the event.

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