The day’s proceedings started on a promising note when 25-year-old Pune-based armyman Bhokanal ended up third in the first heat of the day by finishing the 2000m race in seven minutes, 21.67 seconds behind Angel Fournier Rodriguez of Cuba (7:06.89) and Mexico’s Juan Carlos Cabrera (7:08.27).
Indian rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal entered the quarter-finals of the men’s single sculls after finishing third in his qualifying round of the Rio Olympics on Saturday.
Bhokanal, who had qualified for the Games with a silver medal finish in the Asia-Oceania qualifier, was in second place for the first 500m of the race but started to lag behind once the Mexican in lane 2 picked up the pace around the 700m mark.
The well-built Cuban and the Mexican then increased their lead from the rest but Bhokanal maintained his third position although he was more than 13 seconds behind the second placed Cabrera.
Even as there was some rejoicing in the Indian camp over the army rower’s performance, there were setbacks from the shooting range, which provided the country with two medals in the 2012 London Games, with the elimination of the two women shooters.
Chandela shot an overall 411.6 to finish 34th out 51 competitors while Paul finished further down in 47th place with a total score of 403 in the 10m air rifle event in which China’s Li Du set a new Olympic record of 420.7 to top the qualification stage.