India to have 4 sailors competing in Tokyo for the 1st time in Olympics history

1 month ago 7

The Indian contingent will have four sailors competing in Tokyo later this year for the first time in Olympics history after Vishnu Saravanan, Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar joined Nethra Kumanan in qualifying for the Summer Games on Thursday.

Saravanan was the first to qualify for the Tokyo Games in Laser Standard Class after finishing second in the overall standings on April 8.

Later in the day, the duo of Chengappa and Thakkar finished on top of the points table in the 49er Class. The two had won a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

"Yes, history has been scripted. Four Indian sailors have qualified for Olympics to compete in three events. It's the maximum number of sailors qualified and also in number of events," Yachting Association of India joint secretary general Capt Jitendra Dixit told PTI.

"Nethra already qualified on Wednesday and today Vishnu and then the pair of Ganapathy and Varun made it."

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju congratulated the latest trio of Indian sailors after they made the cut for the showpiece event which is scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 in Japan's capital city.

"I congratulate Indian athletes Nethra Kumanan, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar who have qualified for Tokyo Olympic in sailing. I'm particularly proud of the quota of Nethra, who is India's first-ever female sailor to qualify for the Olympics!" tweeted sports minister Kiren Rijiju.

I congratulate Indian athletes Nethra Kumanan, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar who have qualified for Tokyo Olympic in sailing. I'm particularly proud of the quota of Nethra, who is India's first-ever female sailor to qualify for the Olympics! pic.twitter.com/SwhJoAw1Vo

— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) April 8, 2021

Two sailors make a team in the 49er Class while laser class is a single sailor event.

Also, two sailors qualify for Tokyo Olympics from laser class events while only one team can do so in the 49er class.

Saravanan was third till the penultimate day on Wednesday but won the medal race on Thursday to jump to second place overall with 53 points and book a Tokyo Olympics quota.

"Our athletes are making a mark in all disciplines!" Rijiju said.

I congratulate Vishnu Saravanan who has qualified for Tokyo Olympic in the Laser Std Class Sailing event at the Mussanah Championships. Our athletes are making a mark in all disciplines! pic.twitter.com/sS7oRKb6sE

— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) April 8, 2021

The Indian pipped Thailand's Keerati Bualong (57 points), who was second till Wednesday, for the Tokyo Games spot.