Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Indian Rowers team leaves for Italy

CHENNAI: The 17th Asian Games, to be held at Incheon in South Korea this year, may still be about six months away, but the Indian rowers are fine-tuning their skills before the premier event. To get some international exposure under their belt, the Indian team leaves for Italy to participate at the Memorial Paolo d'Aloja International Regatta to be held at Piediluco from April 11 to 13.

"The season in Europe is commencing with this event, and this will be our first international tournament of the year," coach Ismail Baig told TOI on Sunday, eve of the team's departure.

The team has prominent names such as Olympian Swarn Singh, Asian Games medalist Bajrang Lal Takhar, and Baig expects a good show from the team. "We are hopeful that this side will come up with a noteworthy performance. Doing well against teams from Europe will give a lot of confidence," Baig said.

Is this more or less the squad that will represent India in the Asian Games? "Most of the rowers in this team will be part of it (the Asiad). However , there is always scope for others to make it too," the Dronacharya Awardee mentioned.

In the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou, the rowing team had clinched 5 medals (1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze) and Baig wants to comes up with an even better show this time. "With the national camp at the Hussainsagar Lake in Hyderabad in full swing, I am confident that we can deliver the goods. The most important thing is not to get ahead of ourselves, and execute our plans as we did so at Guangzhou. Our preparations have been good. Our timings too have got better. Also, in the last few seasons , we have had the opportunity to gauge our opponents, and that will stand us in good stead," Baig said.

The squad: 

Men's single scull: Swarn Singh Men's lightweight single scull: Dushyant Chauhan Men's quadruple scull: Shokender Tomar, Sonu, Vikram, Rakesh Raliya Men's eight: Ranjit Singh, Maninder Singh, Mohammed Azad, Kapil Sharma, Robin, Bajrang Lal Thakar, Manjeet Singh, Sawan Kalkal, Mohammed Ahmed Women's quad: Manjula, Chaoba Devim, Monalisha, Dittymol Varghese; Women's lightweight single scull: Amusana Devi

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