Asian Games 2014: Indian rowers finish with three bronze medals
Indian rowers clinched the bronze medal in the men's eight final event of the 17th Asian Games at the Chungju Tangeum Lake Rowing Center.
India won a bronze each in the men's eight event and the singles sculls at the Chungju Tangeum Lake Rowing Center here Thursday to end the 17th Asian Games rowing campaign with three bronze medals.
The Indian team of Kapil Sharma, Ranjit Singh, Bajrang Lal Thakhar, Robin Ulahannan, Sawan Kumar Kalkal, Azad Mohammad, Maninder Singh, Davinder Singh and Ahmed Mohammed finished the 2000-metre race with a time of five minutes and 51.84 seconds.
China were the comfortable winners, leading from start to finish to complete the race 3.34 seconds ahead of second placed Japan and 51.14 in front of India.
Indian rowers' biggest hurdle in the 2014 Games has been their inability to finish strongly. So many occasions Indians have been in the lead for majority of the race but a slow last 500 metres have cost them dear.
The men's eight team were in no mood to make the same mistakes and started off slowly to leave some energy in the tank.
India were fourth in the five-team race at the halfway mark, lagging a fair bit behind the top two.
They then pulled away from Uzbekistan in the next 500 metres to move into third place but were still 4.36 behind leaders China and 3.45 second away from second placed Japan.
Japan started tapering off in the final 500 metres metres and India soon caught up to them with some powerful rowing but a last ditch effort from the Japanese saw them again pull away in the last few metres as they finished just 1.8 seconds ahead of India.
Earlier, Sawarn Singh finished third in the men's singles sculls with a time of seven minutes and 10.65 seconds, behind Iran's Mohsen Shadinaghadeh and Kim Dongyong of South Korea, who took gold and silver respectively.
The 24-year-old Indian was in the lead till the halfway mark with a gap of 0.74 seconds to the Iranian and 2.12 to the South Korean.
Shadinaghadeh managed to get into top position by the next 500 metres, opening 1.50 seconds gap to the Indian.
Sawarn Singh was still in pole position to take the silver with almost a 2.50 seconds lead over Kim but he lost all steam in the final 500 metres finishing 4.99 seconds behind the gold medal winner and 4.48 seconds behind the local rower, who had a brilliant last stretch.
The Indian rowing contingent were expected to do better than the five medals -- a gold, three silvers and one bronze -- they won at the Guangzhou Games four years back.
But India failed to win even a single medal on the first four days of rowing events.
Dushyant Chauhan gave India their first rowing medal - a bronze - in Incheon Wednesday.
Two more medals Thursday - the last day for rowing - means that India have not even matched their 2010 exploits, let alone better it, but at least have ensured the rowers finished on a positive note.
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