New Delhi [India], April 22 (ANI): Four Indian sailors will be participating in this year's Tokyo Olympics and this will also be the first time that India would be competing in three sailing events in the Olympics.
Vishnu Saravanan, Nethra Kumanan, and the pair of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar have qualified for the Olympics. Nethra is also the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics in the laser radial event.
The pair of Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar have qualified in Men's 49er Class sailing event while Saravanan qualified in Laser Standard Class.
"Well, Covid for us has given us more time and it has given us an opportunity to learn more. We have more time to improve as both Nethra and I are young, we always have looked to learn a lot. We used that time to improve our physical and mental state. Olympic qualifiers, the whole nation has so much hope on you and there is pressure on you, you need to have a cool mind like MS Dhoni, we have to be very cool and just do our job. During lockdown we just focused on fitness and sailing, that's it," said Vishnu while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
Answering the same question, Nethra said: "Training is going to be difficult obviously, that's the nature that we get vaccinated and we can leave the country before everything is locked down. That's the only worry at the moment, hopefully, that works out."When ANI asked Nethra whether her qualification for the Olympics will open the door for more women taking up the sport, she said: "It's a big question. I hope so, it's not just about the results, it is also about bringing life to the sport of sailing across the country so we are hoping a lot of people take it up. There are many ways to do that, being a woman, I am honoured to be the first. For us, it's kind of one more step towards the goal of a medal at the Olympic games."Nethra had left the sport of sailing for one year after failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
When asked the thought process behind this, Nethra said: "We had a similar qualification event before the 2016 Rio Olympics, at that time I was much younger and I had spent almost two years in Israel. When qualification did not happen, it was a setback and I went back home. I packed up my bag in Israel and I thought I would take a break."Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23-August 8 this year and Sony Sports will be the broadcaster for the Games. (ANI)