Indian national rowing coach Ismail Baig has warned that there would be no entrants from the country if the athletes don’t give their best in the upcoming qualification event, in May. The Indian rowers missed out on a lot of practice time in the past year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
India doesn’t boast of a rich legacy in Rowing, but the nation has done enough to register regular entrants in each of the last four editions, with Datti Bhokanal featuring the 2016 Rio Olympics. But, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a huge hindrance for the Indian rowers, it leaving them little scope for improving their skills.
With the past performances irrelevant as far as the 2021 Tokyo Games is concerned, the upcoming Asian Oceania qualifiers will be taken into consideration for the Olympics. Most of the Asian rowers have missed out on a lot of action in the past year, which is going to make the upcoming event quite competitive. Indian coach Ismail Baig feels has warned that there would be no entrants from the country if the athletes don’t give their best in the qualifiers.
For Tokyo qualification, the past results will not matter. Performance in the upcoming Asian Oceania competition will be taken into consideration for Olympic qualification," said Ismail Baig.
"Since the 2020 calendar was disrupted, several rowers from Asia couldn't compete and qualify for the Olympics. With top players competing in May, there is a possibility of intense competition. If our rowers don't give more than 100 percent then this time there wouldn't be any representation in the Olympics," added the coach.
The players shortlisted for the men’s section in the qualifiers are Jakar Khan (single sculls), Arjun Lal Jat (double sculls), Arvind Singh (double sculls), and Suni Attri (single and double sculls). On the other hand, Khushpreet Kaur (single sculls), Vindhya Sankat (double sculls), Rukmani Dangi (double sculls), and Sona Keer (single and double sculls) will take part in the women’s event. Meanwhile, Shantanu Kumar will participate in the Paralympics qualification event, at the Sea Forest Waterway Coast, in Tokyo.