Nethra Kumanan, a 23-year-old sailor became the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics in sailing. She achieved the feat after she was assured of a top-place finish in the laser radial event. Laser Radial is a single-handed boat, it is sailed by only one person.
Nethra is currently participating in the Asian Qualifiers event in Oman. Asian Sailing Federation is organizing the event.
Kumanan has a 21-points lead over her nearest competitor- Ramya Saravanan, in the Laser Radial Class event. Ramya Saravanan is another Indian sailor.
Nethra (Chennai-based) has 18 points, whereas Saravanan has 39 on the last day of the competition in the Mussanah Open Championship. It is a joint Asian-African Olympic qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics.
In sailing, the athlete who has the lesser points wins the game.
The final race is on Thursday, called the Medal race. It is a 20 pointer race, and Nethra has already qualified for Tokyo with one round to go.
In Conversation With Malav Shroff ( Asian Sailing Federation President)
“Yes, Nethra has got the ticket to Tokyo Olympics with one race to go on the final day of the Mussanah Open, on Thursday,” Malav Shroff told PTI. (Shroff represented India in the Summer Olympic sailing event in the 2004- Athens Olympics)
“The final event is a 20 pointer race but the point gap between Nethra and her nearest Asian rival, Saravanan is more than 20,” said Shroff.
The Dutchwoman Emma Charlotte Jeanne Savelon is currently in the 2nd spot, above Saravanan. The point difference between her and Nethra is just 3, but she couldn’t qualify for the Olympics from this event as this is an Asian Qualifier event.
“Nethra has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2021, with a big lead; the event is going to finish officially on Thursday, ” her Hungarian coach Tamas Eszes said. (Eszes is a 2-time Olympian)
“…the result of the Medal Race will not bring any change. She has managed to get one of the Olympic quotas out of 2,” he added.
Nethra will be the tenth Indian to qualify for Olympic Games in the sailing event. But she is the 1st woman to do so, earlier nine have been male athletes.
Indian Sailors in Olympics
- Soli Contractor and A A Basith (1972)
- Dhruv Bhandari (1984)
- Kelly Rao (1988)
- F Tarapore and Cyrus Cama (1992)
- Shroff and Sumeet Patel (2004)
- Nachhatar Singh Johal (2008)
Shroff Kumar told that Nethra is the only Indian so far who has booked a quota for the Olympic Games by topping a qualifier. Earlier, 9 Indians made it by getting quotas that could not be filled up.
“All nine of us were nominated. Before the 2004 Athens Olympics, my rank was 21st and only 20 were to compete in the Olympics in my event. Somebody dropped out and so I got it because I was 1st on the waiting list.
“She is the first Indian (male or female) to qualify directly by winning a quota in the qualifier event.”
A very congratulations to Nethra Kumanan for such an amazing achievement. Team KreedOn extends the heartiest well wishes for the Tokyo Olympics.
The entire nation is proud of you.
[For more latest updates and stories on Indian sports (and athletes), subscribe to the KreedOn network today-
KreedOn: The Voice of #Indiansport]