India's Dattu Bhokanal finished fourth – with a time of 6:59.89 – in his quarterfinals of the men's single sculls event – held at the Lagoa stadium in Rio – thereby excluding him from the chance of winning an Olympic medal. The 25-year-old needed to finish in the top three to make it to the A/B semifinals wherein a top three performance again could place him in the finals A – the only finals with medals.
Having failed to do so, he's now in the C/D finals and is solely fighting for world rankings. Bhokanal started off the quarterfinals in similar fashion to his heats taking the lead but ultimately lost out to two of the favourites in the tournament, Damir Martin and Alan Campbell – who won the Bronze in the 2012 London games.
Bhokanal is India's only representation in rowing and did well to make it to the upper quarterfinals by finishing third in his heats but a similar result was needed for him to make it to the better of the upcoming semifinals.
In all of the quarterfinals combined, Bhokanal would have needed to finish in the top twelve rowers but finished in fifteenth. Damir Martin – who was in the same quarterfinals as Bhokanal – set the fastest time in this round with a 6.44.44; a little more than two seconds faster than rowing legend Mahe Drysdale.
Bhokanal's next event is to be tomorrow evening at 7.40pm Indian standard time. He'll need to finish in the top three of his semifinal to make it to the C finals. A bottom three finish in the semifinals will place him in the D finals which would place his world ranking in the bracket between 19th and 24th.
Given that this is Bhokanal's first Olympic games, having made it to the C/D finals is admirable. Hopefully, he'll be able to push on from here and start gaining ranks with the world championships that will held later this month. His participation in said event is yet to be confirmed.Published 09 Aug 2016, 17:46 IST