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Rowing: Arjun, Arvind propel into semi-finals to keep medal hopes alive

Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh. Photo: SAI

Tokyo, July 25 (MNN) Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh kept their Tokyo Olympics campaign alive with a third-place finish in the repechage round of the men’s lightweight double sculls on Sunday.

The repechage race allows boats that didn’t make it to the semi-finals after the heats a second chance to make the cut.

At the Sea Forest Waterway, the Indian scullers clocked 6:51.36 to make it to the semi-finals.

“We followed exactly whatever had been told to us by our coach,” Arjun Lal said. “The coach told us that we should try to get the best position for Indian. In rowing, India has never been to the semi-finals so far.

“It’s not a very popular sport in India. So our coach told us that getting to the semi-finals is also a big motivation for us, and we had to do our best.”

In what was a competitive field, Poland topped the charts in 6:43.44 with Spain coming in a close second with a timing of 6:45.71.

The top three from the repechage round will be slotted into the two semi-finals while the others will head to Final ‘C’ to determine their ranking in the event.

The Indians started the race on a cautious note and preferred to stay on the heels of the leading pack that included Poland, Spain and Uzbekistan till the halfway stage.

But with the Uzbekistani pair of Shakhboz Kholmurzaev and Sobirjon Safaroliyev fading off as the race progressed, the Indians raced ahead to build a comfortable lead before crossing the finish line.

On Saturday, the Indian rowers finished fifth in their heats to move into the repechage of the competition. The Indian duo had clocked 6:40.33 for a respectable finish.

The semi-finals will be held on July 27.

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