Indian rowers claim 1 gold, 2 bronze medals

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Indian rowing men’s team members Sawarn Singh, Bhokanal Dattu, Om Prakash and S Singh. (PTI Photo)

PALEMBANG, August 24: The Indian rowing contingent redeemed itself by winning three medals, including a historic gold in quadruple sculls, on the final day of the competition at the 18th Asian Games.
The rowers had to overcome an unexpected and disastrous outing yesterday, when they were in contention for four medals, to ensure that India doesn’t return home empty handed from the Jakabaring lake.
All Armymen, most of them from humble background, fought with the never-say-die spirit that soldiers are best known for. They pushed their boats as if there was no tomorrow.
“Yesterday we had a bad day but soldiers never give up. I told my teammates that we will go for the gold and we will give it all.
It was about karo ya maro (do or die). And we did it,” Sawarn Singh, senior most member of the gold-winning quadruple sculls team, told PTI.
He not only pushed himself to the limits but his words of encouragement fired up his teammates, including Dattu Baban Bhokanal, who had given up midway into his single sculls race yesterday after starting as the favourite.
The other members of the triumphant team were Sukhmeet Singh, who like Sawarn is from Mansa district in Punab, and Om Prakash.
Like Bhokanal, Sawarn and Prakash also suffered a heartbreak yesterday, missing out on the bronze in the men’s double sculls.
But all of them were able to turn it around in less than 24 hours.
Dushyant Chauhan, bronze medalist in lightweight single sculls at Incheon, defended his third place in the event. (PTI)