Rajasthan's Bajrang Lal Takhar win gold in Asian games

Bajrang Lal Takhar on Friday not only brought India a historic gold in rowing but also brought an end to coach Ismail Baig's 28-year-long wait to win the yellow metal in the Asian Games. "Today's gold is very, very important. I have waited 28 years for this. I started rowing in 1982. We have won bronze medals and a silver in 2006 and today we won the gold," Baig told reporters moments after Lal's epoch-making triumph at the International Rowing Centre.
Rajasthan-born Bajrang Lal, who won Asian championship gold last year in Korea and was the pre-event favourite, was followed across the finish line by Chinese Taipei's Wang Ming Hui (7:07.33), who took the silver, and Iraq's Haeider Hamarasheid (7:10.10), who won the bronze. "I won silver in the 2006 Asian Games. I had prepared for four years to fight for the gold medal today. I knew I would make it," Takhar said. Apart from Bajrang Lal's gold, which is first for an Indian rower at the Games, the Indian men's eight team grabbed silver and the women claimed the pair bronze to make it a very fruitful day at the International Rowing Centre here. The 29-year-old Bajrang Lal, an army man, gave India the second gold in the ongoing Games after Pankaj Advani had clinched the yellow metal in billiards on the second day of competitions. Takhar led the 2000m race from start to finish and rowed his way to the gold with a few lengths of boats to spare in 7 minutes and 4.78 seconds.