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Balraj Panwar seals Olympics quota; mixed duo of Narayana-Anita books Paralympics berth

Chungju (S Korea): National champion Balraj Panwar secured a Paris 2024 Olympic Games quota place for India after finishing third in the men’s single scull final at the World Rowing Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Regatta on Sunday.

With quotas on offer to the top five finishers, the 25-year-old Indian clocked 7:01.27 to finish third in 2000m race and seal the Paris 2024 berth.

In the men’s double skulls event, where the top two got the quota place, the pair of Uttam Kumar and Tokyo Olympian Arvind Singh missed the quota place by a whisker as they finished third, clocking 6:30.11.

Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal competed together in the category at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, finishing 11th. Moreover, the duo won a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year. However, since Arjun Lal has suffered a back strain, Ujjwal partnered with Arjun in Chungju.

As of now, Balraj is the only Indian rower qualified for the Paris Olympics, starting from July 26 with the rowing events scheduled for July 27 to August 3.

Overall, this will be the seventh time India will be represented in the rowing event at the quadrennial extravaganza. Ismail Baig, who is currently the chief coach of Indian rowing, was the first Indian rower to qualify for the Olympics in 2000.

On the other hand, Para Rowers Narayana Konganapalle and Anita booked their place in the 2024 Paralympics after finishing first in the mixed double scull qualification with the timing of 7:50.80.

In the Asian Rowing Cup, which is being held simultaneously with the Asian Qualifiers, the Indian men’s double sculls duo of Salman Khan and Nitin Deol won the gold medal with a timing of 6:35.73.


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