Dattu Bhokanal becomes India's first slot in Rowing at Rio Olympics
New Delhi: Indian rower Dattu Bhokanal today qualified for the Rio Olympics after winning a silver in the finals of men's single sculls at the 2016 FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta at Chung-ju in South Korea.
The 25-year-old armyman clocked 7 mins 07.49 seconds in the 2km course to finish second and qualify for the Rio Olympics. The top seven in the finals qualified for the Rio Games.
“It’s a great achievement for everybody concerned, especially considering that qualifying for the Olympics is huge in itself. The federation is really happy for Dattu, the coach (Ismail Baig) and support staff, for they have put in lot of effort to ensure such a historic milestone. We’ve been preparing for this meet for two years now, and the results have borne fruit,” Rowing Federation of India secretary general, Capt Girish J Phadnis said.
India could not, however, book a Rio berth in the men's light weight double sculls as the pair of Vikram Singh and Roopendra Singh finished fifth in the finals. Only top three qualify for the Olympics in this category.