Good Sports: Sailing to Tokyo
Nethra Kumanan has become the first Indian woman sailor to ever qualify for the Olympics. She will compete in the laser radial class of sailing at the Tokyo Olympics, which kicks off on July 23. The 22-year-old engineering student from Chennai was introduced to the sport when she was 14 at a summer camp organized by the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association. She was already into three sports, tennis, basketball and cycling, and also loved Bharatanatyam. She had trained for six years under a renowned guru, but had to give up dancing to focus on sailing.
“Bharatanatyam has taught me a lot,” she told The Indian Express. “Discipline, hard work and dedication are things I have learnt from the dance form and something that helps me even today.”
She won her Olympic berth at the recent Mussanah Open Championship in Oman, an Asian and African qualifier. “I am really happy about earning an Olympic berth,” she said. “I hope this inspires other young women to take up sailing.”
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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