Chennai-born Nethra Kumanan is the Sailing World Cup Champion with a bronze medal in her kitty. With this win, she becomes the first woman from the country to achieve the feat. The sailing competition was held in the Hempel World Series in Miami, USA. Nethra won bronze in round two of the tournament to create history, Times of India reported. The other two sailors who raced ahead of Nethra in the water were Erika Reineke of the USA and Vasilieia Karachaliou of Greece who claimed the gold and silver respectively in the laser radial event.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chennai-based sailor Nethra Kumanan is the first Indian woman to win a World Cup medal in the Hempel World Series in Miami, USA.
  • Nethra finished behind Erika Reineke of the US and Greece’s Vasileia Karachaliou who won gold and silver respectively in the laser radial category.
  • “After winning the medal race on the final day, I didn’t realize my performance had helped me win bronze until a fellow sailor had informed me. It was one of the most memorable wins for me,” said Nethra.

Nethra, who also represented the country in the 2014 and the 2018 Asian Games, Jakarta, expressed, “At the Asian Games, I was under a lot of pressure to get a spot for the Olympics. A lot of it was self-inflicted and so I failed there. I think this year I am trying to be more consistent with training and always will work towards the big goal of the Olympics,”  TOI reported. She had finished fourth in the last edition of the Asian Games.

Nethra goes to the Canary Islands in Spain for training, before the World Championships. She trained with psychologist Mon Brokman before the World Championships. “After winning the medal race on the final day, I didn’t realize my performance had helped me win bronze until a fellow sailor had informed me. It was one of the most memorable wins for me,” she continued.

How Nethra started out

Nethra started sailing at a summer camp that was organised by the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association. In 2013, she started training professionally and later qualified for the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games. She is currently pursuing her engineering from SRM College.

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Target Tokyo

The sailor is now eyeing to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She will get the opportunity in the upcoming multi-national event if she finishes in the top-two at the Asian Sailing Championships that will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 15, 2020. “I’m just proud of myself and just at peace knowing that something I’m doing is working for me,” Nethra said.

Nethra’s father Kumanan, who runs an IT company, is the real inspiration in her life. He believes the performance at the Worlds will help his 22-year-old daughter clinch an Olympic berth.

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Feature Image Credit: Nethra Kumanan/Facebook

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