It is a facing-saving gold for us, feels chief national rowing coach Ismail Baig after the Indian quartet of Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh won the gold in men's quadruple sculls event on Friday.
“Frankly, it has been disappointing to see India miss at least five medals so narrowly for different reasons,” Ismail told Sportstar from Jakarta.
“Yes, it is satisfying indeed to better the previous Asiad record of three bronze but that was because of the gold today. There is no doubt, this is the best rowing team we could have fielded,” he said.
“I was confident of a gold in the quadruple sculls. And, it was a fantastic effort by the four-member squad. One of the best races I have ever seen,” the chief coach said.
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“Maybe, if only we trained in Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad (for long the hub of national rowing camps before they were shifted to Pune), things could have been different because of the similar kind of water here in Jakarta,” he said.
“The weather was fine and the winds too ok. Nothing to complain about them. But again, missing out narrowly at least five medals was something really disappointing,” he said.
“I shudder to think what would have been the mood if we had not won the gold today,” he added.
“Now, let us relax for one month after all the hectic preparations for this Asiad. But we need to take corrective measures to put up a much better performance once the 2020 Olympics qualifiers are around,” Ismail said.