Dattu Bhokanal will once again take part in the single sculls event at the Rio Olympics at the Lagao Stadium. The Maharashtrian qualified for the quarter-finals of the event by finishing third in his heats – the minimum requirement to do so.
Having already made it to the quarter-finals of the event, Bhokanal will qualify to either one of the A/B semifinals and the C/D semifinals. If he finishes in the top three of the quarter-finals, he'll make it to the the former of the two semifinals. If he fails to finish in the top three, he'll make it to the latter.
Dattu Bhokanal showed us that he’s capable of taking the fight to some of the best rowers from across the world but this time, he’ll have to take it up a notch to ensure he's in the right semifinal and one that could potentially land him in the better of the two finals later in the week.
In his quarter-final, Bhokanal's biggest threat is British rower Alan Campbell – who was the Bronze medal winner in the 2012 London Olympics single sculls event. Campbell is known for his relatively slow start but final dash – something Bhokanal will need to keep an eye out and not take for granted midway through the event.
Bhokanal's start in his heat was the best from the lot. He had the lead till almost the 500m mark but slowly lost ground and eventually finished third. While he may have his own style and strategy to deal with some of the world's bests, he's got to ensure he sustains the lead he makes or at least save up for a final push to ensure he finishes in the top three.
He is India's only hope in rowing this summer – across all the events – having not sent a delegation for the team or sweep events. His quarter-final begins at 5.00pm sharp Indian standard time. Make sure you tune into the broadcasts to cheer him on.Published 09 Aug 2016, 13:42 IST