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'Indian rowers performed beyond expectations at Olympics'

05 Aug 2012, 17:14 IST

Sawarn Singh of India competes in Single Sculls on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney

London - India rowing coach Ismail Baig says he is satisfied at the way his three-member team performed at the London Olympics.

He said Swaran Singh finishing 16th in the single sculls was no mean performance.

“A fortnight ago I had said that if India finished among first 15 in the Single Scull event that itself will be a big achievement and we ended 16th. In Beijing, Bajrang Singh had finished 21st in the field of 30, here Swaran was 16th among 33 rowers,” said Baig at the Games Village here on Sunday.

“Swaran Singh made it to the second round and that is what we were expecting from him. His timing 6.54 sec in the first round was very good. Earlier, he used to do over 7 minutes.”

The rowing events were held at Eaton Dorney, about 36 Km from London.

“The weather conditions, barring first two days were tough for all the teams. The cross winds made the competition more challenging. Most of the top teams who returned good timings in first two days of the event failed to reproduce the same form in remaining period.”

Baig said his rowers were not much effected by the weather conditions.

“We received all facilities for training and preparations for the Games, so there is no excuse on that front also. The Olympic performance has instilled more confidence and self belief among them.

In the double sculls, Manjeet Singh and Sandeep Kumar finished 19th out of 24 teams.


“In double scull we did not lose much, rather I will say we gained a lot,” the coach said.

Baig admitted that there was a a huge gap in standards between the Olympics and Asian Games.

“We are Asian Games winners. We had beaten teams like Korea, Iran and Japan. But if we keep on basking in the glory of that achievement it will not do any good to the sport in our country.”

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