With new boats in tow, Bajrang Lal upbeat about Olympic medal

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2010, 19:35 PM IST

New Delhi: Asian Games gold-medallist rower Bajrang Lal Thakkar is a happy man to have finally got new boats after taking part in the last month`s Guangzhou mega-event with second-hand equipment and said this would boost his medal chances in 2012 London Olympics.

Thakkar is hoping that the new equipments will help him in cutting down his timing by at least two seconds and that would put him within striking distance of a medal in the London Olympics.

"We have received new boats and other equipments from SAI recently. I had won gold in the Asian Games with an old boat. The new equipments will result in cutting down my timing by two to three seconds at least," said Bajrang, an army officer based in Secunderabad.

Bajrang won gold in the single sculls event with a timing of 7:04.78 in Guangzhou but he had clocked 7:02.45 in the heats and feels he has a realistic chance to aim for a medal in London.

"I am aiming for a medal in London Olympics and I hope the new boats will help me in realising the target," he said at the sidelines of the felicitation of Asian Games medal winners here by Indian contingent sponsors Samsung.

The gold winner in Beijing Olympics had clocked 6:59.83 while the silver and bronze winners had timed 7:00.63 and 7:01.56 respectively.

Bajrang said his main target next year is the World Championships which is one of the qualifiers for the London Olympics.

"It (World Championships) offers a large number of qualifying spots for the Olympics. The top 11 will get to qualify for the Olympics. I am looking forward to it though the date of the championship is yet to be decided," he said.

"The training and competition schedule for next year will be planned with the coach. Of course, we will train outside the country, may be mostly in Germany. We have trained in Germany in the past," added Thakkar.

He said he was expecting the gold in Guangzhou after his success in the Asian Championships in South Korea last year.

"I had won silver in the Doha Asian Games and gold in the Asian Championships last year and so I thought I can win gold in the Asian Games. I became emotional after winning the gold in Guangzhou. I could not stop my tears after crossing the finishing line first," said the Arjuna Awardee.

PTI