London, July 20 (IBNS) India's chief rowing coach Ismail Baig is being realistic about his three-member team’s chances at the Olympics.
Baig feels that if India finishes among first 15 in the Single Scull event, it would be a big achievement in itself.
"I am not given to make big promises, and I think that making it to the second round in both the events. Single and doubles sculls - will be a good showing by our rowers and then we can think of next round, he said while on a visit to the Games Village," he said.
The rowing events are slated to be Eaton Dorney- about 36 Km from London and the Rowers took time off from their hectic schedule to come over to a place which is 'bustling with excitement and life'.
"We have been training at Eaton Dorney for some time, but it gets very lonely out there so we decided for a quick visit to the Olympic village, just for a change’ said the tall Hyderabadi.
The three member team comprises Swaran Singh (Single Scull), Manjit Singh and Sandeep Kumar (double Scull).
"It is better to be transparent and clear about team’s chance. There is no use of making tall claims just to keep people in good humour. I know it is very difficult for our rowers to be among the podium finisher. However nothing is impossible in sports," said Baig.
Baig said in single scull top-six finish in the heats will enable Swaran to qualify for the quarter finals (first 18 and six best losers). In case of double sculls, first 12 teams will go into the next round.,"
Baig has been with the rowing team for last 11 years in various capacities. This is his third straight Olympic.
Under him in the last Asian Games, Indian rowers gave one of their best performances winning nine medals, including one gold and five silver.
Baig asserted that qualifying for the Olympics is a very tough challenge in itself.
"Three of our rowers made the cut at the Asian Continental Championship in South Korea in April. Swaran finished first to claim gold in that Championship in single Scull and booked the ticket for London," he said.
The event is schedule to be held from July 28th to 4th August.
Baig said Indian rowing standards have improved since the Beijing games. In Beijing, Manjit made a creditable 18th finish in the single sculls.
"I am confident that all three will give better performance. ’The water here is light compared to hard water in Hyderabad Where we had been training before coming here. Light water will help the rowers to improve their showing," said Baig.