Rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh ended their Olympics 2021 campaign with a 5th place finish in the men's lightweight doubles sculls final B. They managed to cross the finish line with a timing of 6:29.66.
This ensured that the Indian pair will finish in the 11th position overall in their category. They were knocked out of the final race yesterday after losing in the semifinals.
Participating in their final B race today, the Indians did not get an ideal start to the race. They took 3:11.83 to complete the first 1000m of the race in the final B. The Indian duo have managed better timing for the first half (1000m) in their previous races at this year's Olympics.
However, they were still in the hunt at this point with a little less than 4 seconds behind on their timing. In the second half of the race, the Indians were unable to accelerate to get a strong finish.
Unfortunately for the Indian pair, they have succeeded with this strategy so far in the tournament. However, it did not work out today and they could only manage a fifth place finish in the final B (11th overall).
How did the other teams fare?
The difference in quality between India and the other teams was clearly visible in the race. The Spanish team of Caetano Horta Pombo and Manel Balastegui, who finished in first place, completed the 2000m race in 6:15.45 - a little over 14 seconds faster than the Indians.
They were closely followed by Poland and Ukraine in second and third places respectively. Both of these teams finished the race in less than 6 minutes and 17 seconds.
The Canadian team finished fourth with a timing of 6:17.60. The Norwegian team did not start the race which meant that India effectively finished in the last spot.
Yesterday, the Indian pair finished in sixth place in the semi-finals A/B 2 to find a place in the final B to contest for the 7th-12th places. The first four teams in the final B had a 2.15 second gap whereas India finished a distant 12.06 seconds behind fourth placed Canada.
Best finish at the Olympics
Despite finishing 11th, the Indian duo will leave with their heads held high. Before the start of the tournament, the duo had targeted a top 12 finish which they succeeded in securing. It's no mean feat for the pair, who have been competing in the sport for just 5 years.
Jat and Singh became the first Indian pair to qualify for the semi-finals in the men's lightweight doubles sculls in the quadrennial event. No other Indian team participating in the Summer Games has managed to secure a better finish than these two athletes.
Devender Kumar Khandwal and Manjeet Singh finished in 18th position at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh managed a 19th position finish at the 2012 London Olympics.
Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh will now have their eyes set on the 2024 Paris Olympics. Both of them will be encouraged by their performance in Tokyo and try to build on it in Paris. If they continue to impress and develop, there is no reason why these Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh will not be able to earn a podium finish in 2024.