Olympic
Thu, 8 Apr 2021

India to be represented in more than one sailing event at the Tokyo Olympics for the first time ever

For the first time in history, India will be represented in more than one sailing event at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as a total of four sailors from the country have qualified for three different events.

The historic milestone came on Thursday after Vishnu Saravanan secured his spot at the Olympics in the Laser STD Class event after finishing second at the Mussanah Championships, an Asian Qualifier event that is being held in Oman. Saravanan, a Naib Subedar in the Indian Army, was in the third position until Wednesday but edged out Keerati Bualong of Thailand to reach the second place and earn his Olympics berth. 

The previous day, Nethra Kumanan became the first woman sailor from India to qualify for the Olympics in the laser radial event and also the first to book a berth to the Japanese capital for this edition of the quadrennial event at the Mussanah Open Championship. Although on Thursday Kumanan came sixth, her overall 30 points still kept her in the second spot.

After Saravanan followed up as the second sailor from the country, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar increased India's hopes as they marked India's third event at the Olympics, qualifying in the 49er class event. In total, four sailors from India will represent the country at the Olympics in three different events, a feat truly historic.

Vishnu Saravanan (L), KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (R) qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
Vishnu Saravanan (L), KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (R) qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

After their qualifications were confirmed, Sports Authority of India took to Twitter to congratulate Saravanan, Ganapathy and Thakkar.


 

โ€œYes, history has been scripted. Four Indian sailors have qualified for Olympics to compete in three events," Capt Jitendra Dixit, the joint secretary-general of the Yachting Association of India told PTI, "itโ€™s the maximum number of sailors qualified and also in number of events.โ€

Looking back in history, a maximum of two Indian sailors had qualified in the Olympics in the same event in four different instances. Farokh Tarapore and Dhruv Bhandari represented India in the 1984 Olympics in the 470 class, followed by Tarapore and Kelly Rao in the same event in the 1988 edition. Tarapore again teamed up with  Cyrus Cama for the 470 class in 1992, and in 2004, Malav Shroff and Sumeet Patel competed in the 49er class skiff event.

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