As Indian rower Parminder Singh returned disappointed to the athletics village after finishing sixth in the Men's Double Sculls final at the Fuyang Water Sports Centre after being second for the majority of the race, he felt as if fate was conspiring against him and preventing him from taking the family legacy forward.
Parminder and his partner Satnam Singh were placed second when the latter felt a twist in his neck and they eventually rolled in sixth and last.
He felt he may have to wait for four more years to fulfil his dream of winning a medal at the Asian Games and emulating his father Inderpal Singh, who bagged a bronze medal in the Busan Asian Games in 2002.
But the 23-year-old Petty Officer in the Indian Navy did not lose his heart and came back to win a bronze medal in the men's Quadruple Sculls on Monday and made history for India.
Parminder thus followed in his father's footsteps to win an Asian Games medal, 21 years after Inderpal Singh bagged bronze in the Men's Coxless Four in Busan 2002.
"It feels surreal," Parminder said after receiving his bronze medal. "I took up rowing because of my father, so to be able to follow him and win a medal, and have him watch it all is incredible."
Inderpal Singh is one of India's first Olympic rowers, having competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He is now a coach of the team, which has put on an impressive performance at the Hangzhou Asian Games with two silver and three bronze medals in the rowing competition. India is third in the medal standings by total in the sport.
But for Parminder Singh, it almost did not happen after he and Satnam Singh failed to win a medal in the Men's Double Sculls final on Sunday after being in second position for the majority of the race.
"We were in medal position, but in the last 150 metres Satnam felt a twist in his neck and he wasn't able to breathe, which led to a complete shutdown for him," Parminder said on Monday.
"We had a lot of power left, we could have easily crossed the line, but this happened at an unfortunate time.
"I have had plenty of ups and downs before, but it felt like someone took the medal away from around my neck," the 23-year-old former student of Lovely Professional University said.
Though Parminder was disappointed by that result, he did not lose heart. His father, who was his inspiration to take up rowing and also his first coach, also encouraged him to not think about the setback.
On Monday he made history joining Inderpal as the first father-son duo to win medals for India in rowing as the Men's Quadruple Sculls team comprising Parminder, Satnam, Jakar Khan and Sukhmeet Singh returned on Monday to make amends. This was also
"We were a bit disappointed with the result yesterday, but I'm glad I was able to get a medal today. This makes up for everything," Parminder said.
Parminder, who took up rowing seriously after meeting the members of the Quadruple Sculls team that won gold in the 2018 Asian Games, now hopes to emulate his father in another feat -- by representing India in the Olympics.
He dreams of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and hopes that Monday's victory will give him and his teammates the confidence to go for a medal in the Olympics.
If Parminder manages to do so, it will definitely be one-up on his father and will take the legacy forward.