India's Dattu Bhokanal put in a spectacular performance in his C final where he took the lead from the start and kept it all the way till the end, securing a world ranking of 13! The 25-year-old will not win a medal despite finishing first in his final but considering this is his first Olympics, it's a feat worth celebrating.
Bhokanal set a time of 6:54.96 – his personal best in the tournament seeing the challenges of Bendegúz Pétervári-Molnár and Argentina's Brian Russo all the way to the finish line. The former of the two – the Hungarian – was the sole rower to finish ahead of Bhokanal in the semifinals but the Talegaon native ensured that he learnt what was needed to keep his lead all the way till the end.
For Dattu to have won a medal in the Olympics, he should've finished in the top 3 of the 'A' finals – something he missed out on when he finished 4th in his quarterfinals. He finished within the top 3 in the heats – which was needed, – he should've finished in the top 3 of his quarterfinals and in the top 3 of his semifinal to go to the 'A' finals.
Bhokanal is only the ninth ever rower to represent India at an Olympics event and finishing first in the 'C' final is just the kind of stepping stone someone with so much potential needed. It is still unclear as to whether Bhokanal will participate in the Elite World Rowing Championships later this month but if he does, he's sure to be kept an eye upon given his splendid performance here in Rio.
New Zealand legend Mahe Drysdale is in the A finals along with long-standing rival Ondej Synek who will look to finally beat the Kiwi to an Olympic gold. Drysdale is the current gold medal defender and the world rowing champion.Published 13 Aug 2016, 18:29 IST