Nethra Kumanan qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, thus becoming the first-ever Indian women’s sailor to acheive the feat. On other hand, Vishnu Saravanan also booked a berth for the mega-event, along with Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy, making this the best ever Indian contingent at the Games.
The Tamil-Nadu-based female sailor finished at the top position in the Laser Radial event, in the Mussanah Open Championship, which is a joint Asian and African Olympic qualifying event. Nethra Kumanan had already taken a massive lead by Wednesday, with her 21 points clear of other competitors, while Thursday’s race was a mere formality to register her name for the quadrennial event.
"Yes, Kumanan has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with one race to go on the final day on Thursday. The final race is a 20 pointer but the point gap with her nearest Asian rival, also an Indian, is more than 20," said Asian Sailing Federation President Malav Shroff to PTI.
Laser Radial, one of the events at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, is an individual event with the athlete sailing a single-handed boat. With the feat, she became the 10th Indian sailor to qualify for the Olympics, even though all the previous nine were male athletes.
Meanwhile, Vishnu Saravanan was third-placed till the end of Wednesday, but stormed to the second overall place, by winning the medal event the following day. The sailor will compete in the Laser Standard category at the Games. To sum up India’s glorious day, the duo of Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy also paved their way to Tokyo by qualifying in the Men’s 49er event.