Pune: The Hangzhou, Asian Games bronze medallists Babulal Yadav and Lekhram (men’s pair) along with Punit Kumar, Jaswinder Singh, Bheem Singh, Ashish (men’s four) will showcase the huge cast at the 41st Senior and 25th Open Sprint National Rowing Championship at the Army Rowing Node situated in the College of Military Engineering (CME) campus here.
With 474 participants, from 27 affiliated state federations including strong contingents from the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) and All India Police, the stage is set for the fight for top honours in the premier rowing competition in the domestic circuit.
The championship was inaugurated on Monday by CME Commandant Lt Gen A K Ramesh, PCMC Commissioner, Shekhar Singh (I.A.S.), Nababuddin Ahmed, Treasurer Rowing Federation of India and Organising Secretary, Col. R Ramakrishnan.
The Army Rowing Node (ARN), which became operational in 2009, will be hosting the Senior Nationals for the sixth time and third in a row. Back in 2014, ARN hosted the inaugural Championship, later on, they hosted the 36th edition in 2017 which was followed by the 37th edition and then the 39th, 40th and now the 41st edition.
Apart from the distinguished medallists, another rower who has grabbed eyeballs and needs to be looked out for is Balraj Panwar (single sculls) who finished fourth in Hangzhou.
Action, however, in the Rowing Federation of India’s blue-riband event across India’s state-of-the-art international-standard rowing facility begins on Tuesday in all seven Olympic disciplines in both the men’s and women’s categories. The men’s section has 318 participants, while the women’s has 156 entries.
The championship will be held over 2000 metres and 500 metres for both men and women respectively. For the men, the events include single sculls, double sculls, coxless pairs, and coxless fours (all in 2000m and 500m). Open double sculls, coxless fours and coxed eights will be held in only 2000m for the male rowers. The first two events will be for civilians only.
Similarly, for women, single sculls, double sculls, coxless pairs, and coxless fours will be held in 2000m and 500m. Double sculls mixed event (500m) and para-men single sculls (200m and 500m) will also be organised.
The championship for the third consecutive year has received a shot in the arm with the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) stepping in to co-host the event with multiple support.