By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Dessert will not be on the menu of Olympic-bound Indian rowers as they look to manage their weight during training over the next 70 days.
“Weight control is the trickiest part of training. That’s why dessert will be strictly banned in the final camp which starts next week in Pune. As per rules, the average weight of the team should be 140 kg. The upper weight limit for an individual is 72.5kg. If one athlete is in the upper limit category the other should then weigh 67.5 kg. If the team weighs more than 140 kg, it will be disqualified,” rowing coach Ismail Baig told IANS.
The camp will start on May 18 at Army Sports Institute in Pune.
Earlier this month, Arvind Singh, 24, and Arjun Lal Jat, 25, qualified for the Olympic Games in men’s lightweight double scull during the Asian Oceania Olympic qualifying event in Tokyo.
“The national team didn’t take ice cream and sweets from February to April to prepare for the Asia Oceania Olympic qualifying competition in May. Both Singh from Uttar Pradesh and Jat of Rajasthan have sweet tooth. It was a tough time for these guys,” added the coach.
Since rowing is strenuous, there has to be intake of enough calories, the coach added.
“Good nutritious food is a must. Otherwise, rowers will get weak and the performance will decline. A fine blend of protein and carbohydrate is the best,” said the coach while explaining the importance of good diet.
According to the coach, the focus during the camp will be on tactics.
“The rowers have already reached 98 percent of their optimum level in April. Physically, we can’t push them hard in the last two months. That’s why the focus will be on the tactical part of training as local weather conditions on the rowing course in Tokyo is generally windy,” said Baig.