New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) India will compete in more than one sailing event in an Olympics for the first time after Vishnu Saravanan on Thursday qualified for the Tokyo Games in Laser STD Class after finishing second in the Asian Qualifier in Oman.
Nethra Kumanan on Wednesday became the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Games in Tokyo in the laser radial event in the Mussanah Open Championship, which is an Asian Olympic qualifying event.
Saravanan, who was third till the penultimate day on Wednesday, won the medal race on Thursday to jump to second place overall and book a Tokyo Olympics quota.
The Indian pipped Thailand”s Keerati Bualong, who was second till Wednesday, for the Tokyo Games spot. Singapore”s Ryan Lo Jun Han was first overall in the Laser STD Class points table.
Two sailors qualify for the Olympics in the laser class events of the championships.
“Yes, Vishnu has also qualified for the Olympics. Nethra has already qualified on Wednesday,” Yachting Association of India joint secretary general Capt Jitendra Dixit told PTI.
“Till Wednesday, Vishnu was third behind the Thai sailor though both were on same points. Today in the medal race, Vishnu finished first and so naturally he ended above the Thai sailor in points table.
“Two sailors qualify for Olympics in laser class and Vishnu finished second. The Singapore sailor was well above Vishnu before today and so Vishnu could not dislodge him (from top position).”
There were four instances of two Indian sailors qualifying for the Olympics earlier but they took part in the same event. This time in Tokyo, India will be taking part in more than one event in sailing.
The Indian pair of Farokh Tarapore and Dhruv Bhandari competed in the 470 class in the 1984 Olympics. Tarapore and Kelly Rao took part in the same event in 1988 Games.
Tarapore — in his third Olympics — and Cyrus Cama took part in the same 470 class in the 1992 Barcelona Games before Malav Shroff and Sumeet Patel competed in 49er class skiff in the 2004 Athens Olympics. PTI PDS PM PM