National Rowing Championship: State rowers miss gold by 0.67 seconds in Pune
Rowers from Maharashtra - Sanket Patil and Parminder Singh fought bravely but lack of experience denied them the gold medal in the doubles sculls 2000 metre event in 37th Senior National Rowing Championship.
On chilly Friday morning at Army Rowing Node (ARN) in College of Military Engineering (CME) campus, the Maharashtra pair was beaten by Haryana rowers Harvinder Singh Cheema and Maheshwar Singh to settle for a silver medal.
Harvinder and Maheshwar completed the distance of 2000 metres in seven minutes and 4.10 seconds to win a gold medal while Maharashtra rowers completed the race within seven minutes and 4.77 seconds.
The Maharashtra team lost the gold medal by 0.67 seconds.
Mangal Singh and Nitesh Bharadwaj of Madhya Pradesh managed to take home bronze medal with completing the race in seven minutes and 16.88 seconds.
“It was a matter of microseconds by which we lost the gold. They (Haryana) went ahead after 1250 metres. We pushed hard in the last 250 metres but could not get ahead of them,” said Parminder Singh.
Parminder and Sankeet got into the lead in first 500 metres and maintained it till 1100 metres before Haryana pair got ahead of them.
“For the first 750 metres Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh team were ahead. We accelerated after 1000 metres. Increased rating and power at the right time had helped us to get ahead. I had won bronze last time (36th National Rowing Championship), and that experience has helped me.” said Maheshwar Singh.
The student of Punjab State Institute of sports, Maheshwar praised his partner Harvinder Singh Cheema who was participating in the nationals for the first time.
“My partner Harvinder Singh Cheema is still junior but he performed brilliantly. It was his first nationals and he came out with a good show,” added Maheshwar.
Maharashtra pair Parminder and Sanket who was competing for the first time in senior national felt that more practice could have helped them to clinch the gold medal.
“It is all about coordination with your partner. We had good coordination no doubt, but if we would have practised more than the results could have been different,” said Parminder.
In the singles sculls event where Sangram Apugade who was carrying Maharashtra’s hope finished on the sixth position with the timings of seven minutes and 52.58 seconds.
The gold was fetched by Bittu Singh of Army Sports Control Board (7:20.11) and silver went to Beant Singh of Service Sports Control Board who completed the race in seven minutes 23.44 seconds.
We need more rowing nodes in the country to excel: Kamla Cheema
Kamla Cheema, general secretary, Haryana Rowing Association, who is accompanying Haryana team wants his state government to improve sports facilities in Haryana.
“Haryana government needs to support us. Until they don’t help, the Rowing Federation of India cannot do anything. We don’t have rowing node in Haryana our rowers go to Chandigarh and Delhi for practice. I am proud that we have won medals,” said Kamla Cheema, former hockey player.
Cheema also feels that more rowing nodes in the country will help the nation to earn medals at national levels.
“We only have one world class rowing facility centre here (in Pune) we need such centres in every state. If 15 such centres would come up then definitely we have a ray of hope for Olympic,” added Cheema.
Single Sculls: Bittu Singh (ASCB) 7:20.11; 2. Beant Singh (SSCB) 7:23.44; 3. Sonu (Har) 7:27.75
Doubles Sculls: Harvinder Singh Cheema and Maheshwar Singh (Har) 7:04.10; 2. Sanket Patil and Parminder Singh (Mah) 7:04.77; 3. Mangal Singh and Nitesh Bharadwaj (MP) 7:16.88.