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Reserve in Jakarta, podium finish in Hangzhou - A success story of Indian rower Arvind Singh
By Saurabh Duggal
In the previous edition of the Asian Games, it was a disheartening outing for Indian Army rower Arvind Singh, as he accompanied the Jakarta-bound rowing squad as a reserve player and returned without participating in the games.
In Hangzhou, Arvind paired up with Arjun Jat Lal, opening India's medal account in the 19th Asian Games by clinching silver in the lightweight double sculls on Sunday.
The performance was the best ever by an Indian pair in the event at the Games.
"Making a podium finish in the Asian Games is a great feeling. I was waiting for this day for the last five years. In the previous edition of the games in Jakarta, I was a reserve player, and it was very disappointing. But this time in Hangzhou, I am part of a silver-winning pair. I have made up for Jakarta's disappointment here," said Arvind, 27, while talking over the phone from China. "A couple of months before the Asian Games, I had a back injury, and because of that, I couldn't practice for almost 25 days. But thanks to my partner Arjun, who supported me in my hour of need. And today we are able to make the podium finish in the Games."
Arvind, who hails from Khabra Village in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, joined the Indian Army in 2016, and in the same year, he made it to the services team. In 2018 he got a chance for his first international outing, but as a reserve player. But in the very next year, he, along with Arjun, made it to the Indian squad and won silver in the Asian Championship. The pair also made it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I came to know about rowing only after joining the Indian Army, and had I not joined the Army, I would have remained in my village only. But rowing gave me an opportunity to travel to different places and make my country proud at the international arena," says Arvind, who is part of the Army Rowing Node in Pune.