Inclement weather spoilt Indian rower Dushyant Chauhan's strong bid for a gold medal on international debut as he settled for a bronze in the men's lightweight single sculls at the 17th Asian Games here today.
The Army rower, hailing from Haryana and belonging to the Bengal Engineering Group in Roorkie, led from the 500m till the last 200m in the 2000m race before strong northerly winds and rain put paid to his gold medal hopes as he fell behind two others and finished third by clocking 1 minute, 59.02 seconds.
"I was confident of the gold but my lane was the most affected by the strong wind. However I am happy to win the bronze medal," said the 21-year-old after winning the medal.
Chauhan was second behind gold-medallist Lok Kwan Hai by just under two seconds in the first 500m and then caught up with his rival before overtaking him in the course of the next 500m and looked assured of a gold before inclement weather hampered his chances.
He not only lost the gold medal, but also the silver as the host country's Lee Hakbeom, who was third with 500m left, also surged past the Indian rower to clinch the second spot in 1:56.19.
It was the first medal of the day after a fruitless stint at the shooting range for India and the 10th bronze in the Games.
Rowing Federation of India Secretary General M V Sriram also rued the loss of a gold for Chauhan.
"He led for most of the race and should have won the gold," he said.
Rowing had proved to be a happy hunting ground for the country in the Guangzhou Games four years ago when single sculler Bajrang Lal Takhar created history by winning the first rowing gold after his silver in Doha in 2006.
There were two three silver medals and bronze in the women's coxless pair event and in this background, a large team of rowers have come here to take part.
The Indian team comprises 22 men and nine women rowers, accompanied by four coaches and a physio.