India will compete in more than one Olympic sailing race for the first time since Vishnu Saravanan qualified for the Laser STD Class in Tokyo on Thursday after finishing second in the Asian qualifiers in Oman.
Nethra Kumanan on Wednesday became the first Indian female sailor to qualify for the Tokyo Games in the laser radial event at the Mussanah Open, which is an Asian qualifying competition for Asia.
Saravanan, who was third until Wednesday’s penultimate day, won the medal race on Thursday to jump to second overall and book a quota for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian won the Thai Keerati Bualong, who was second until Wednesday, for the place in the Games in Tokyo. Singaporean Ryan Lo Jun Han was first overall in the table of points for laser STD class.
Two sailors qualify for the Olympics in the laser classes of the championship.
“Yes, Vishnu has also qualified for the Olympics. Nethra has already qualified on Wednesday,” Captain Jitendra Dixit, secretary general of the Yachting Association of India, told PTI.
“Until Wednesday, Vishnu was third after the Thai sailor, although they were both on the same points. Today in the medal race Vishnu finished first and so naturally finished over the Thai sailor in the points table.
“Two sailors qualified for the Olympic Games in the laser class and Vishnu finished second. The Singaporean sailor was well above Vishnu before today and so Vishnu could not displace him (from the highest position).”
There were four cases of two Indian sailors qualifying for the Olympics earlier, but they were involved in the same event. This time in Tokyo, India will participate in more than one sailing competition.
Indian couple Farokh Tarapore and Dhruv Bhandari competed in Class 470 at the 1984 Olympics. Tarapore and Kelly Rao participated in the same event in 1988.
Tarapore – in his third Olympics – and Cyrus Kama competed in the same class 470 at the 1992 Barcelona Games before Malaw Schroff and Sumeet
Patel competes in the 49er Scythian class at the 2004 Athens Olympics.