Its Bronze again

Inclement weather spoils Rower Dushyant’s surge for gold, settles for third place

Incheon

Strong wind spoiled Indian rower Dushiant Dushyant ‘s strong bid for a gold medal as he settled for a bronze in the men’s lightweight single sculls at the 17th Asian Games on Wednesday.

The Army rower, hailing from Haryana and belonging to the Bengal Engineering Group in Roorkee, led from the 500m till the last 200m in the 2000m race before strong northerly winds and rain put paid to his gold medal hopes as he fell behind two others and finished third by clocking 7:26.57.

With the addition of just one bronze today, India took their tally to 12 (1 gold, 1 silver, 10 bronze). Powerhouse China continued to lead the pack with 118 medals (59-32-27) followed by hosts South Korea with 74 medals (26-23-25) and Japan with 64 (20-29-27).

The badminton and squash teams had a good day in their respective matches but the women’s hockey team lost 1-2 to China in a preliminary match.

Dushyant was second behind gold-medallist Lok Kwan Hai by just under two seconds in the first 500m and then caught up with his rival before overtaking him in the course of the next 500m and looked assured of a gold before inclement weather hampered his chances. He not only lost the gold medal, but also the silver as the host country’s Lee Hakbeom, who was third with 500m left, also surged past the Indian rower to clinch the second spot in 7:25.95.

It was the first medal of the day after a fruitless stint at the shooting range for India and the 10th bronze in the Games.

Rowing Federation of India Secretary General M V Sriram also rued the loss of gold for Dushyant.

“He led for most of the race and should have won the gold,” he said.

Rowing had proved to be a happy hunting ground for the country in the Guangzhou Games four years ago when single sculler Bajrang Lal Takhar created history by winning the first rowing gold after his silver in Doha in 2006.

There were two three silver medals and bronze in the women’s coxless pair event and in this background, a large team of rowers have come here to take part. The Indian team comprises 22 men and nine women rowers, accompanied by four coaches and a physio.

Indian sailors Varsha Gautham and Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan occupied the top spot after two races in Women’s 29er- Two Person Dinghy event on the first day.

Varsha and Aishwarya were on top of the heap of six teams in the 12-race event which will continue till September 30.

—PTI

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