Nethra Kumanan Makes History, Becomes First Indian Female Sailor To Qualify For Olympics

Sailor Nethra Kumanan
In a first for India, four Indian sailors qualified for the Olympics. Indian sailor Nethra Kumanan also became the first woman to qualify for the Olympics.

On April 8, the Indian sailors Nethra Kumanan, Vishnu Saravanan, and the duo of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Nethra Kumanan became the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics at the Mussanah Open Championship, an Asian Olympic qualifying event. Then Vishnu Saravanan along with the duo of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar qualified for the Tokyo Games at the Asian Qualifiers. This also marks the first time India will compete in three sailing events in the Olympics.

The Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted his congratulations for the four Indian sailors that qualified for the Olympics.

Till now, India has only competed in one event in the Olympics, though on four occasions the country was represented by two sailors.

Nethra Kumanan came first at the Laser Radical event in the Mussanah Open Championship. She became the tenth Indian to qualify for a sailing event in the Olympics and is the first female athlete to qualify. The previous athletes had been nominated for quota places that had not been filled up through qualifiers. Kumanan is the first Indian to qualify directly and topped the qualifier.

Vishnu Saravanan qualified for the Tokyo Games in Laser Standard Class after he finished second in the overall standings. Indian sailors Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar finished on top of the points table in the 49er Class. The duo had also previously won a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games that took place in Indonesia.