Tokyo Olympics: A look at chances of Indian Sailors
Sailing, previously known as ‘Yachting’ has been at every summer Olympics since 1900 except the 1904 St.Louis Olympics. India made its debut at the 1972 Munich Olympics and has participated in 5 more editions since then.
10 Indians have represented India in sailing at Olympics in 5 editions. Farokh Tarapore is the only sailor with multiple appearances (3 times). At Tokyo Olympics, India is sending as many as 4 sailors, who will be participating in 3 different events i.e, Women’s Laser Radial, Men’s Laser standard, and Men’s 49 er. All three events will have Indian representation for the first time in Olympics.
She will be the first-ever woman sailor to represent India at the Olympics. Nethra will be participating in the Laser Radial event. In January 2020, she became the first-ever Indian woman to win a medal in the Sailing World Cup where she secured a bronze. She also participated in Asian games and finished 5th.
Hailing from Maharashtra, Vishnu was inspired by his father major Ramanathan Saravanan, who is a sailor himself. Vishnu is going to participate in his first Olympics at the age of 22. He will be participating in Men’s Laser standard event. Vishnu has won a bronze medal at the U-21 World Championships 2019.
KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar:
Both have sailed together since 2011 and will be participating in the Men’s 49 Erie event in Tokyo. The duo tasted their major success during the Asian games 2018 where they have won bronze in the same event.
Schedule at Tokyo:
Women Laser Radial Event
From Race 1 to Race 10 – July 25 to 30
Medal race – Aug 1
Men Laser standard event
From Race 1 to 10 – July 25 to 30
Medal race – Aug 1
Men’s 49 er
From Race 1 to 12 – July 27 to July 31
Medal race – Aug 2
India is making its first sailing appearance at Olympics since 2008 and for the first time, 4 sailors will be representing the country at the mega event. Nethra Kumaman is the one to watch out for India this time, though she is currently ranked 71st in the world, her current form should help produce a reasonable performance. If the other 3 sailors perform well then they can also finish inside the top 10 which will be a good result for India in a sport in which they are still finding their feet.