Olympics 2021: Rowers Arjun Jat and Arvind Singh rewrite history by qualifying for semis

Jat and Singh have been competing as a team since 2016
Jat and Singh have been competing as a team since 2016

The Indian contingent's good start at the Olympics 2021 continued on Day 2 when Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh qualified for the semi-final race of the men's lightweight double sculls event.

The duo clocked 6:51.36 and finished third in the repechage round, behind teams from Poland and Spain, who finished in first and second place respectively. India managed a slow start and were in fourth position at the 500m and 1000m marks.

A boost in the second half of the race allowed the Indians to overtake the pair from Uzbekistan and clinch third place. A third-place finish was enough to book a spot in the semi-finals of the event for Jat and Singh.

On Day 1 of the Olympics 2021, the Indian team finished in fifth position in their heat and had to settle for a place in the repechage rounds of the competition. The repechage rounds allow teams a chance to qualify for the semi-finals who were unable to do so through their respective heats.

Arjun Jat and Arvind Singh's journey to Olympics

The pair from the Indian army have had quite an extraordinary journey so far. Both the rowers come from rural backgrounds and had never heard of a sport called rowing. It was in 2016 that both of them were acquainted with the sport after joining the army.

The duo formed a decent partnership and have been training and competing together ever since. They were the reserve team for the same event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. They finally made headlines after they qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a silver medal at the Asian Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta in Tokyo in May.

Since they've secured qualification, they've had to follow a strict training plan and diet. The men's lightweight double sculls event requires the combined weight of rowers to not exceed 140kg. Due to this, Jat and Singh, were asked to avoid eating ice-cream and other sweet dishes.

When Jat and Singh take to the Sea Forest Waterway on Thursday they will be creating history. They will be the first team to race in the semi-finals of an Olympic event. Before them, Devender Kumar Khandwal and Manjeet Singh finished in 18th position at the 2004 Olympics, and Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh managed a 19th position finish at the 2012 London Olympics.

Also read - India at Olympics 2021

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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