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Dattu Baban Bhokanol Dreams Of Regaining Glory With Gold In Asian Games – KreedOn Candids

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Destination Hangzhou

Dattu Baban Bhokanol, the rowing man of India and the Arjuna awardee is dreaming of regaining his glory by winning the coveted gold medal in the Asian Games next year in Hangzhou, China. The 31-year-old player from Nasik, Maharashtra hogged the limelight in the international scenario for the first time after winning the gold in the Asian Games in 2018 in Jakarta. Dattu who has taken VRS from Indian Army last year is currently dishing out almost 6-hour training every day at Nasik. Talking over the phone from the city, Dattu informed:

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“I have been training at the Godavari that originates from Nasik. Along with other physical training, I ride the boat for around three-and-half kilometers down the river.”

Dattu has not appointed a trainer presently. But he has been taking telephonic advice from the USA coach Paul Mokha under whose observation and guidance he had practiced in the USA in 2016.

Dattu Baban Bhokanol: Journey to Remember

Image Source- Wikipedia

Dattu has forgotten nothing of his hardship in earlier days, from helping his father in digging wells in their village Talegaon-Rohi to working as a waiter at a restaurant, and used to sit on the road selling onions, and even worked at a petrol pump to help his family.

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Dattu still remembers those days when he used to study during the day and work at night. He used to earn a paltry amount of Rs 3000 that could hardly complete the needs of his family consisting of parents and two younger brothers. Dattu remembered,

“I never imagined I would be able to become successful today. But I must admit one thing. The struggle helped me a lot, building up the foundation of my physical and mental strength. Rowing needs a lot of physical strength as well as concentration and mental will. When I started it under Kudrat Ali, I had already developed some natural qualities that impressed the coach and a job with the Indian Army was ensured in 2012.”

Winning Competitions With Boats Below International Quality

He was the only Indian rower to have participated in Rio Olympics in 2016 and also has not forgotten that he had to take part with boats below international standard till 2020. He explained,

“The boats that are of international standard have low weight. It becomes easy for the rowers to generate speed while riding them. While ordinary boats generally become heavy, they also cannot run as smoothly as low-weight boats can. Naturally, I had to put additional strength constantly while riding it in the competitions.”

Between 2014 and 2020, Dattu won several laurels riding this ordinary boat. Incidentally, he bought a second-hand boat last year that cost almost one lakh.

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Om Shanti and Chatrapati

Dattu has learned from crisis days how to recover. Chattrapati Shivaji has been his inspiration. Dattu stated,

“I preach Om Shanti and follow Shivaji’s messages every time. His life also had a lot of ups and downs. Shivaji’s message has taught me how to calm down and make intense preparation during a crisis period. So, I never gave up practicing even when I was suspended. I always keep his books with me. It inspires me every time.”

Dattu Baban Bhokanol Ultimate Wish

Dattu Baban Bhokanol, participated and showed commendable performance in the Rio Olympics, but failed to earn a place. Now he has an ultimate wish of qualifying for the Paris Olympics 2024 and wants to return with a medal. Along with this, the rower also wants to pay back to his village. Dattu stated,

“My village is water-drought. I have been seeing this adversity since my childhood. I wish to do something so that my villagers can get water throughout the season. Besides, I have plans to upgrade services in my village hospital in the future also. I want my villagers to obtain modern facilities and medicines from my village hospital in the future.” 

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