Ishan Al Marzouqi training in
23 entries, reflected the striking improvement in rowing in the Asian region.
“Ishan will become the ambassador for the
sport and we have already seen interest from
some of the dhow racers,” says Muller.
FISA’s Asian development consultant,
Chris Perry noted, “The average speed of
Asia’s top crews is moving more quickly
towards that seen at world level and, whilst
there is still some way to go, the gap is
most definitely narrowing.” For the first time
seeding of crews was necessary.
Muller, however, has renewed enthusiasm.
He says the regatta turned into a great
opportunity to meet other Gulf nations and
open up dialogue.
“We talked about developing an indoor
rowing regatta in the summer when it’s too
hot to row,” says Muller. “There aren’t enough
competitions within Asia. We’re looking at
developing something locally.”
Finishing at the back of the field Ishan and
Muller were shocked by the level of racing.
“It’s quite remarkable how the standard has
risen over the last couple of years,” admits
Muller. “This wasn’t the result we wanted to
Muller hopes the development of rowing
amongst the Emirati people will continue. He
notes that rowing in the traditional dhow [a
local fishing boat] has been a feature of the
region for centuries and dhow racing is still
Following the Asian Qualification Regatta ten
more countries will be racing on the Shunyi
Olympic course in Beijing. Two of these will
be for the first time. Iran qualified two rowers,
men’s single sculler Moshen Shadinaghadeh
and women’s single Homa Hosseini. Myanmar
also made it a first with Shwe Zin Latt earning
a spot in the women’s single. ■ M.S.B.