Olympics-bound India rowers forced to cancel preparatory trip to Portugal

Due to the visa restrictions and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for persons coming from India, the trip had to be cancelled.

Rowing

Arjun Lal and Arvind Singh were sanctioned Rs. 21 lakh for this training camp by the Mission Olympic Cell.   -  Getty Images

Rowers Arjun Lal and Arvind Singh, who qualified in double sculls for the Tokyo Olympics to be held later this year, were disappointed after their scheduled training programme at Pocinho High Performance Centre in Portugal from June 1 got cancelled.

Due to the visa restrictions and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for persons coming from India, the trip had to be cancelled and they will be back to their regular training centre - Army Rowing Node in Pune.

It may be mentioned here that Arjun and Arvind were to train for five weeks in Portugal as part of the preparations for the Olympic Games.

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The double-scullers were sanctioned Rs. 21 lakh only yesterday for this training camp by the Mission Olympic Cell.

“Yes, since the compulsory quarantine is not acceptable to us for it means a long gap in training with just two months away from the Olympics, we decided not to send the rowers,” confirmed Rajlaxmi Singh Deo, president of Rowing Federation of India, in a chat with Sportstar.

“Luckily, the rowers got a feel of the conditions that will be there in the Tokyo Games since the qualifiers were held there. That way, it has been a terrific feat by both Arjun and Arvind to make the cut,” she said.

“It is unfortunate that the Portugal camp has to be cancelled. Now, the rowers will be back in the Army Rowing Node for normal training. We hope to get a good result for sure,” Rajlaxmi said.

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The RFI president also said that the preparations for the World championship in Shanghai this October would begin with the coaching camp for men to be held in Pune from June 20.

“Since the women’s camps in Odisha and Kerala were shut because of the pandemic, we are focussing only on the men's team for the Worlds,” she said.

“Essentially, the focus will be on the Asian Games next year looking at the Worlds as an exposure event though the preparations will be to get a medal in the World championship also,” the RFI president said.

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