Indian sailor Nethra Kumanan, who became the first Indian female sailor to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Games, feels that this is just the beginning of her journey. Apart from her, Vishnu Saravanan, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar qualified for the Olympics, making it India’s largest-ever contingent.
Indian sailors hardly ever make the headlines, with the country producing just nine Olympians till the last edition of the event. But, things could well change as four athletes from the country have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Games, which is the strongest ever sailing contingent for India at the Olympics.
Nethra Kumanan created history by becoming the first Indian female sailor to book a berth at the quadrennial event, with her set to feature in the Women’s Laser Radial category, in Tokyo. Elated with the achievement, she feels that the Tokyo qualification is just the start of her career, with the hard work she’s put in finally paying off.
"It feels amazing to achieve Olympic qualification, which has been my dream for many years. It feels incredible that all my hard work has paid off and this is really just the start for me. This event has been extremely good for Indian sailing," said Nethra Kumanan.
Vishnu Saravanan (Laser Standard), KC Ganapathy (49er) and Varun Thakkar (49er) are the three other sailors making the cut for the Tokyo Games. Kumanan began competing at the top level since she was 15 and represented India at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games respectively.
"Apart from me, there are three others who have qualified as well. I'm so excited to go to Tokyo, have fun, and do the absolute best that I can. It's a huge step for me and I can't wait to represent India at the biggest stage of them all," added the Chennai-based athlete.