Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Hangzhou [China], September 24 (ANI): Following his team's medal win in two events at the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, Indian rowing chief coach Ismail Baig said it is a big comeback for rower Arvind Singh, who made his return to the sport after battling injuries for two-three months.

Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh clinched the country's second silver medal, narrowly trailing behind China in the thrilling final of the men's rowing lightweight double sculls on Sunday.

"I was under pressure for double sculls. Japan has a strong crew. China has top-class rowers and Uzbekistan did well in the last World Cup. First, we tried to target Japan and Uzbekistan to release pressure and then go after China. Our players rowed really well," said the coach to ANI.

"Arvind was injured for three months. He was given proper physiotherapy. Arvind has done well in the Olympics and got a gold in the Asian Games too. So, it is a big comeback for him," he added.

The coach said that he is still expecting two to three medals from the rowing contingent.

Ismail said that the support provided by the sports' governing body, the Indian army etc has played a big role in their success.

"The way army, federation, police etc support us with equipment and facilities is really good," he added.

Recalling his journey as chief coach of the Indian rowing team, Ismail said that it has been 20-plus years for him as a chief coach.

"I have lost count of the Asian Games medals I have won as a chief coach. This is my seventh Asian Games. Earlier, we used to be really happy with a bronze, but now we have silver and gold medals too. We have a shortage of gold so we have a day more to reduce this shortage," he concluded.

While the duo of Jat and Singh clocked 6:28:18 the Chinese duo Fan Junjie and Sun Man won the gold medal in the final after clocking 6:23:16. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan finished in third place and had to settle for bronze medal after finishing at 6:33:42s.

The duo had finished in 11th place in the Tokyo Olympics and displayed a stellar performance in the Asian Games 2023 to make their place on the podium. Lekh Ram and Babu Lal Yadav clinched India's third medal and second rowing medal in the ongoing Asain Games with a bronze medal finish in the Men's Pair Final on Sunday.

India finished third by clocking 6:50.41s after Hong Kong and Uzbekistan finished 1st and 2nd, respectively.

Hong Kong, China moved to first place in the race, followed by Uzbekistan and India. The Indian pair crossed the 1500m mark with a time of 5:05.11s. Things started to heat up as the three nations are fighting closely gave their all to take away the gold medal.

But China in the end managed to take the top spot at the podium with a comfortable victory.

India has won five medals in the Asian Games Hangzhou till yet, three silver and two bronze. They are at fifth place in the medal tally. (ANI)

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