CHENNAI: Nethra Kumanan is all set to make historical past on Thursday by turning into the primary girl sailor from the nation to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the Mussanah Open Championship at Mussanah, Oman — the Olympic Qualifier for Asia.
All that the 22-year-old from Chennai must do is full the 10-boat medal race with none incident for her to seal the Tokyo berth. On the finish of Day 5 of the races on Wednesday, Nethra was main within the ladies’s Laser Radial class with 18 factors.
She is well-ahead of her nearest rival — Stephanie Norton from Hong Kong — who’s on 41 factors. Nethra is forward of the second-placed Emma Charlotte Jeanne Savelon by three factors however the latter isn’t combating for an Olympics berth on this occasion. Crusing follows a low-scoring system. “I’m extraordinarily proud of my efficiency within the match and it will likely be an enormous excessive to be representing India on the Olympics — the most important sporting stage. Regardless of present on this occasion, I nonetheless really feel I can get higher and my focus is presently on the medal race on Thursday,” Nethra informed TOI on Wednesday. She didn’t have the most effective of begins on this Championship however quickly bought into her groove from Day 2 and by no means regarded again.
Nethra, a second-year engineering scholar on the SRM faculty, felt her coaching in Spain for the previous one 12 months took her sport to a brand new degree. “Whilst many different sailors had been discovering it troublesome to coach as a consequence of covid-19 pandemic, I used to be ready to take action with among the greatest in Gran Canaria, a part of Spain’s Canary Islands. Common coaching and crusing throughout lockdown have made me a significantly better sailor than what I used to be earlier than,” she stated. Nethra caught the eye of many final 12 months when she turned the primary Indian girl to win a medal on the Crusing World Cup — a bronze — within the Laser Radial class. “Profitable that medal was an enormous confidence booster for me,” stated Nethra, who has represented India within the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta Asian Video games.
In the meantime, there are different Indians who’re within the hunt for an Olympics berth. Within the 49er class, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar — on 51 factors — stay within the lead. The duo take pleasure in a 12-point lead over their nearest rivals, Akira Sakai and Russel Williams Ayslworth. Ganapathy and Varun should put of their greatest foot ahead to bag the Tokyo ticket.
Within the Laser Normal class, Vishnu Saravanan is in third spot and must defeat Keerati Bualong of Thailand and ensure China’s Wu Jiannan and Hong Kong’s Nick Bezy — who’re on 55 factors every — don’t higher him within the medal race.