In an ambience fringed with overcast skies and green hills, the still waters of the Manchanbele Lake suddenly stirred up under an endless wave of ripples, thanks to the inaugural National sculling championship that concluded here on Sunday.

It was truly a ‘far from the crowd’ experience for both the participants as well as a small audience that consisted of military staff.

Amidst a surreal setting, Sonu (Engineers), Satyawan (Engineers) and Lakshmi Devi (Manipur) won golds respectively in the light men’s single scull, men’s single scull and women’s single scull events.

With sculling (rowing) events multiplying in the next Asian Games at Incheon in South Korea in 2014, national rowing coach Ismail Baig said, this maiden championship that was hosted in the outskirts, will help identify talent. “This championship, a first, will help in identifying talent and in also broadening the sport’s base in India.

Sculling has many more sections in the Asian Games and our medal prospects are good in these extra events,” Baig told The Hindu.

Bajrang Lal Thakur’s gold-medal winning performance in the last Asian Games at Guangzhou in China has enthused the Rowing Federation of India officials, and Baig expressed his satisfaction over the timings clocked by the winners.

“We have also unveiled the first ranking list in Indian sculling, and all this is part of the process towards the Asian Games in Korea,” the coach said.

The ranking (top-five):

Men, Light: 1. Sonu (Engineers), 2. Faisal Mohammad (Krn), 3. Ajay Ku Sahoo (Ori), 4. Gayarshi Lal (Uttarakhand), 5. T.A. Aneesh (Ker).

Men: 1. Satyawan (Engineers), 2. Shokinder Tomar (AP), 3. Kedarsan Sahoo (Krn), 4. Jay Prakash Singh (Bengal), 5. Haladhar Choudhury (Asm).

Women: 1. Maitreyee Banerjee (Mnp), 2. Dittymol Varghese (Ker), 3. Tarunikha Pratap (TN), 4. Soniya Takiya (Uttarakhand), 5. Esha Nithin (Krn).

The results:

Men: Light, single scull: 1. Sonu (Engineers), 8:01.30s; 2. Faisal Mohammad Ali (Krn), 8:17.04; 3. Ajay Ku Sahoo (Ori), 9:26.90.

Single scull: 1. Satyawan (Engineers), 7:34.90; 2. Shokinder Tomar (AP), 7:35.41; 3. Kedarsan Sahoo (Krn), 8:04.61.

Women:

Single scull: 1. Lakshmi Devi (Mnp), 9:06.06; 2. Dittymol Varghese (Ker), 9:16.52; 3. Tarunikha Pratap (TN), 9:19.48.

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