This is the first time in the history of Olympics games that India will be taking part in three sailing events and four Indian sailors have managed to grab the Tokyo Olympics spot to represent India in the mega sporting event. Tokyo Olympics to be held from July 23 to August 8 this year.
The four sailors who will represent India in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics are, Vishnu Saravanan, Nethra Kumanan, Varun Thakkar and Ganapathy Chengappa. Among four, Nethra Kumanan is also the first woman Indian sailor to have qualified in the laser radial event in Olympics.
Vishnu Saravanan – Vishnu Saravanan completed second in the Olympic qualifying Laser Standard class in Oman, where he also became the second Asian to book the spot for the Tokyo which would be his maiden Olympic Games.
Vishnu Saravanan, who works as Naib Subedar in Indian Army, began with winning multiple medals in sailing at the various junior level national events. He had also become the youth national champion back in the year 2016. Vishnu also won a silver medal at a Hong Kong sailing series held in the year 2016.
Vishnu Saravanan won his first national championship in the senior category in 2018. He had been off to Malta to train for Tokyo Olympics. Vishnu had trained under renowned Olympian sailor Denisiuc Alexandr of Moldova.
Nethra Kumanan – The 22-year-old Nethra Kumanan is the first woman from India to bag a direct entry to Summer Games and also the first sailor-woman from India to qualify for the Olympics.
Nethra Kumanan had managed to earn her Tokyo Olympics spot in the competitive Laser Radial category after winning the Mussanah Open Championship in April 2021 held in Oman.
Nethra Kumanan is not a rookie in the trade as she has vast experience in sailing and she had also represented India in the Asian Games held in 2014 and 2018. Her best record so far has been the fourth position in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Nethra had been into many games since her childhood, as she had played basketball, tennis and tried cycling as well. She has also learnt the Indian classical dance form – Bharatnatyam. However, she gave up all as Sailing prevailed overall.
Varun Thakkar – Varun Thakkar along with Ganapathy Chengappa had managed to secure an Olympics spot in the 49er Class. Varun Thakkar is an experienced sailor who along with Ganapathy Chengappa had managed to secure a bronze medal in the 2018 edition of the Asian Games held in Indonesia.
Ganapathy Chengappa – Twentysix-year-old Ganapathy Chengappa hails from the Allaranda family in Chennai. His family runs a furniture business in Chennai. Ganapathy has been into sailing since a very early age as little as six-year-old. Ganapathy had won U-12 National Championship in sailing. Ganapathy during his young age often used to bunk classes to take part in a sailing race.
Ganapathy booked the Tokyo Olympic 2020 berth with his equally skillful partner named Varun Thakkar in the 49er sailing event, where they finished on top over other sailors at the Mussanah Open Sailing C’ships held in Oman.