Arjun-Arvind row to silver, Tokyo berth

New Delhi, May 7

Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh qualified for the Olympics in the men’s lightweight double sculls event after finishing second in the final race of the Asia-Oceania Continental Qualifying Regatta in Tokyo today.

Another Indian, Jakar Khan, finished fourth in the men’s singles sculls final which offers five Olympics quotas, but he missed out as a country gets only one qualifying spot from this regatta.

The top three qualify for the Olympics in the men’s lightweight double sculls event.

Arjun and Arvind will be the only Indian rowers in the Tokyo Games because India will not participate in other Olympics qualifiers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is less than 80 days for the Olympics but it is weird, there is very little Olympics atmosphere building up. The streets are empty, no people, very few vehicles, though we are told there is lockdown going on,” Arjun, a Naib Subedar in Indian Army, said. “I am thrilled to have qualified and I want the Olympics to happen, otherwise all our efforts of four years will go in vain. But if it happens, it will be a totally different one,” said the Rajasthan rower.

Strict protocols

“The guidelines and protocols are very strict,” Arjun said. “Testing for Covid-19 began at the airport. We lost a lot of time there, nearly five hours. After reaching hotel, we underwent three tests since then in the six days. Mingling with even teammates was not allowed at the hotel and competition venue. Wearing a mask was mandatory for all the times except for eating, drinking and during training and competitions.” — PTI

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