Pakistan rowers sail into Asian event finals

Saturday, September 6th, 2014 7:52:27 by

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Hassan Currimbhoy reached the final of the 2014 Asian Juniors Rowing Championship boys’ single scull event in Yilan, Taiwan on Friday.

Meanwhile, Salma Rabia Arif and Aleena Abid made a stellar debut in the girls’ double scull category, qualifying for the Final B event, where teams compete for determining their final positions, besides the top two spots.

“We sent three rowers and they made us proud,” Pakistan Rowing Federation (PRF) Vice-President Abdul Rahim Babai told The Express Tribune.

“I’m very proud of the girls. It’s their first appearance in such a big event and I can’t be happier for them. They have certainly raised the bar for women’s rowing in Pakistan.

“This was the biggest event for both Aleena and Salma’s career, and they have managed to impress us all.”

The female rowers outshone athletes from Vietnam, India, Japan and Iran during their run-up to the final.

“Their performance is a real surprise as they’ve outdone themselves and our expectations,” said Babai.

‘Hassan can win gold for Pakistan’

In the boys’ senior event, Hassan finished first to qualify for the final and covered the distance in eight minutes 47 seconds.

He is competing in the men’s single scull category along with rowers from Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei.

This is Hassan’s second appearance at the championship. Last year, the talented athlete finished among the top 10.

“Hassan has the ability to win the gold medal,” said Babai. “It was tough for him on Friday because the wind was not helping him and he was a little slower than expected, but he finished first anyway.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2014.

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