Nethra Kumanan will become the first Indian sailor to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the laser radial class after her impressive showing at the Asian Olympic Qualification Championship. Nethra has virtually qualified for Tokyo Olympics in the laser radial class of the championships. The 23-year-old sailed wonderfully well on the Wednesday to finish her races nine and ten in first and second positions respectively.
Nethra is well ahead of her nearest Asian competitor Stephanie Norton of Hong Kong who is in fourth place with 41 points. As of now if Nethra doesn’t complete the race, Norton will end up getting two points, which is not enough to prevent the Indian from making it to the quadrennial event. So to qualify, Nethra just needs to finish her race.
“I trained with a lot of quality International sailors that helped me a lot” – Nethra Kumanan
Nethra was interviewed ahead of her final race and she said, “On the one side it’s been a dream-come-true moment for me and on the other side, it’s just one step/race tomorrow (Thursday) to finish.”
Nethra has been training under Hungarian coach Tamas Eszes for the last one-and-a-half years at Gran Canaria in Spain and that has proved to be invaluable. “In Grand Canaria, I trained with a lot of quality International sailors that helped me a lot,” said the World Cup bronze medallist, the first Indian woman to do so,” Nethra said.
The Indian pair of Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy meanwhile finished on top in the 49er class by securing fourth, second and third places in races 13, 14 and 15 respectively. For the duo to qualify, it has to finish in the top six on Thursday.
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