Dattu Baban Bhokanal, the lone Indian rower to represent India at Rio Olympics finishes third in the opening campaign for India in men’s single sculls.
Picking up a fantastic start early in the game just behind Cuban Angel Fournier Rodriquez, he booked a place in the quarter-finals by finishing third in the first round of the heats.This Pune-based gritty rower clocked 7:21.67 behind Cuban Rodriquez- 7:06.89 and Juan Carlos Cabrera from Mexico- 7:21.67.
Bhokanal took to rowing only after the London 2012 Olympics and surprised everyone by being the sole rower in an 119-member contingent this year. His major achievements have been winning two gold medals at the 2014 National Rowing Championships, representing the Services and finishing fifth in the 2014 Asian Games in China.
It may be recalled here that Bhokanal qualified for the Olympics after winning a silver in the men’s single sculls event at the FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta in South Korea where he clocked 7 minutes and 07.63 seconds.
Taking a look at the previous results at the London Olympics 2012, Swarn Singh Virk did a decent job by winning a repechage round after finishing fourth in the heats with a personal best effort of 6:54.04. He later finished fourth in the quarterfinal round and had to compete for the minor placings races wherein he ranked 16th. Bhokanal previously mentioned his aim is to clock 6 mins and 30 seconds, which he thinks is achievable and is ready to put that extra effort to ace it.
Next event in rowing for India is on August 7 in men’s single sculls repechage round.