Shortlisted for Arjuna, once-banned Bhokanal feels vindicated


Last yr round this time, world rower Dattu Bhokanal used to be in uneven waters, going through an unsure long term. The Asian Games gold medallist used to be within the wasteland after the Rowing Federation of India (RFI) had banned him for two years for allegedly tanking a race. On Friday, lifestyles has come complete circle for the rower from Chandwad in Nashik district of Maharashtra as he used to be shortlisted for the Arjuna Award by way of the sports activities ministry, placing a seal of approval on his achievements. He might be receiving the award along side others in a digital programme on August 29.

Bhokanal, who used to be a member of the boys’s quadruple sculls group that gained gold at 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, used to be accused of pulling out of the one sculls race halfway previous within the Games. Bhokanal had claimed that his boat had overturned at the day of the contest and he used to be now not in proper state of mind for the one sculls race and sought after to keep power for the quadruple sculls match a couple of days later. However, his protestations have been rejected and he used to be thrown out of the game for two years. He used to be additionally accused of looking to get money award from the federal government and needed to settle for his mistake.

With his ban overturned following intervention of the IOA Athletes Commission in January 2020, Bhokanal had come into reckoning for the Tokyo Olympics ahead of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner within the works.

The Arjuna Award has come like an icing at the cake for Bhokanal.

He feels he has vindicated and will now pursue his desires with renewed gusto.

“Truth has prevailed. I feel I have been vindicated. I had not committed any mistake but was accused of a heinous act. By giving me this award the government has accepted that I had done nothing wrong,” Bhokanal mentioned.

The 29-year-old, who’s recently with the Army rowing unit at Pune looking forward to for a nod for the nationwide camp to reassemble, thanked the RFI forits enhance. “There was a conspiracy against me and by recommending my name for the Arjuna Award, my federation has absolved me of any wrongdoing. I am very thankful to RFI and the Sports Ministry. This is a big boost for me and I will now chase my dream with renewed vigor. If I continue to get the support from the federation and government, I am sure I will win more laurels for the country,” mentioned Bhokanal.

Bhokanal has stored himself in high health all the way through the Covid-19 lock down by way of enticing in farming actions at his ancestral village. “I had to do something to keep myself fit during the lock down. Being a water-based sport, it is difficult for us to have all the equipment at home. So, farming was the next best exercise as I could not sit idle at home after completing the task assigned to me by the coaches during the daily meeting over video conference,” mentioned Bhokanal, who comes from some of the arid districts of the state.

Bhokanal is now taking a look ahead to qualifying for subsequent yr’s Tokyo Olympics. His hopes have soared following the Arjuna Award and the rower says he desires to provide his best possible shot within the subsequent world festival.



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