Rowers Dattu Bhokanal, Sawarn Singh excluded from Indian team for Asian Olympic qualifiers

Dattu Bhokanal has been excluded from the Indian team for the Asian qualifiers
Dattu Bhokanal has been excluded from the Indian team for the Asian qualifiers

Star Indian rowers Dattu Bhokanal and Sawarn Singh have been dropped from the Indian squad that will compete at the Asian and Oceania Continental Olympic Qualification Regatta in Tokyo from May 5-7.

The Rowing Federation of India has selected an eight-member Indian team with Ismail Baig as the chief coach.

The men’s team comprises Jakar Khan (single sculls), Arjun Lal Jat (double sculls), Arvind Singh (double sculls), Sunil Attri (single and double sculls), and Shantanu Kumar (para).

Khushpreet Kaur (single sculls), Vindhya Sankat (double sculls), Rukmani Dangi (double sculls), and Sona Keer (single and double sculls) will compete in the women’s category.

This will be India’s first rowing competition since the 2019 Asian Championship in Chungju, South Korea.

Indiscipline cost Dattu Bhokanal a place in the Indian squad

Both Bhokanal and Singh were part of the Indian rowing contingent at the 2018 Asian Games that fetched a gold and two bronze medals. But Bhokanal, who also represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has now paid the price for indiscipline and lack of focus on his training.

Meanwhile, Singh was excluded for his below-par performances in the national camp at the Army Rowing Node (ARN) in Pune.

Since China is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Indian rowers will need to be at their best to ward off a tough challenge from the Asian heavyweights.

Nevertheless, Indian coach Baig is hopeful of a good showing in the event and aims to secure Olympic qualification.

“We are trying for qualification in both the men’s and women’s sections. It is going to be a tough event in Tokyo but I am hoping the Indians can do well,” Baig told Sportsview.

If the Indians fail to secure a Tokyo Olympic berth at the Asian meet, the rowers will get another chance to qualify at the Final Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, scheduled to start on May 16.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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