Tokyo Olympics: Indian sailors profile, standings, opponents, form guide


Nethra Kumanan – Laser Radial

Ranking: 54

2021 Form Guide: Finished 14th at Lanzarote Winter Series Act 1 in Spain (January); Finished second at the Mussanah Open Championship 2021 – Asian and African Olympic Qualifications (April); 41st at the Allianz Regatta, Hempel World Cup Series Medemblik in the Netherlands (June).

Top Medal Contenders: Emma Plasschaert (Belgium), Marit Bouwmeester (Netherlands), Maud Jayet (Switzerland), Agata Barwinska (Poland), Josefin Olsson (Sweden).

Nethra Kumanan is the first Indian sailor in history to qualify for the Olympic Games. The 23-year-old punched her ticket to Tokyo in April when she finished first in the radial laser class at the Mussanah Open Championships, which was an Asian qualifying event, in Oman.

The Chennai native trains with Hungarian coach Tamas Eszes, double Olympian in the standard laser class, in Gran Canaria in Spain. She left school in the eleventh grade to pursue sport professionally. She represented India at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games. She took a hiatus from sports after failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics, but has since rebounded and made history by sealing her place at the Tokyo Games.

Vishnu Saravanan – Laser standard

Ranking: 43

2021 Form Guide: Finished second at the Mussanah Open Championship 2021 – Asian and African Olympic Qualifications (April); 26th at the Allianz Regatta, Hempel World Cup Series Medemblik in the Netherlands (June).

Top Medal Contenders: Charlie Buckingham (USA), Juan Ignacio Maegli Aguero (Guatemala), Stefano Peschiera (Peru), Hermann Tomasgaard (Norway), Wannes Van Laer (Belgium).

Vishnu Saravanan booked his ticket to Tokyo in a nice way by winning the standard laser event at the Mussanah Open Championships in April. The Army man placed third heading into the final day and fought against the odds of finishing first in the final medal race and second overall to earn an Olympic quota. He was introduced to the sport by his military father Ramachandran Saravanan, an avid sailor himself who could not practice the sport professionally. Vishnu became the National Youth Champion in 2016 and then joined the Indian Army as Naib Subedar in 2017.

The 23-year-old won the bronze medal at the 2019 Under-21 Laser World Championships in Croatia, a year after winning silver at the Laser Europa Cup in Italy. He trains under the direction of Moldovan Alexandr Denisiuc at the SailCoach Academy in Malta.

Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy upgraded from 29er to 49er boats in 2014 and will compete in their first Olympics.

KC Ganapathy – Men 49er

Ranking: 73

2021 Form Guide: Finished first at the Mussanah Open Championship 2021 – Asian and African Olympic Qualifications (April).

Top Medal Contenders: Bart Lambriex (Netherlands), Jonas Warrer (Denmark), Benjamin Bildstein (Austria), Erwan Fischer (France), Jakob Meggendorfer (Germany).

He is only 25 years old but KC Ganapathy already has a wealth of experience to his credit. He competed at the 2010 Asian Games in the Optimist event, then teamed up with Varun Thakkar in 2011. The duo went from 29er boats to 49er in 2014. The duo enjoyed their first international success by winning bronze in the 2018 Asians. Games.

The Ganapathy-Varun duo then finished second at the 49er and 49erFX Asian Championships in Abu Dhabi in 2019 before pocketing their first Olympic spot at the Mussanah Open earlier this year.

“We complement each other and are good partners. On the 49er single scull, the crew is holding the mainsail and one on the helm. This is where we help each other, me on the management side and Varun on the help side. There has to be a lot of coordination. Varun’s help is really crucial in getting the boat up very quickly. We both like to go really fast. Our disagreements, when we have them, only improve us, ”he said during a previous interaction.

Varun Thakkar – Men 49er

Ranking: N / A

2021 Form Guide: Finished first at the Mussanah Open Championship 2021 – Asian and African Olympic Qualifications (April).

Top medal contenders: Bart Lambriex (Netherlands), Jonas Warrer (Denmark), Benjamin Bildstein (Austria), Erwan Fischer (France), Jakob Meggendorfer (Germany)

Varun and Ganapathy were actually competitors during their junior years. Both cut their teeth at sea in the port of Chennai and were fierce rivals. But the boys decided to join forces in 2011, and the rest is history. Varun, also 23, dropped out of school early to pursue a career in sailing, as did Ganapathy.

The two had their share of differences at the start but were able to put them aside. “We have a process and we believe in the process. We have been sailing (together) for 10 years now. In the first three years after forming our team, we had our arguments, but then set ourselves a long term goal of bringing a medal to the country. We believed in each other more than anything else. Currently, we are just the backbone of each other, ”Varun said.

The duo trained in Portugal ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.


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