Sailing | Nethra seals a berth for Tokyo

Nethra has 18 nett points while her nearest competitor Stephanie Norton of Hong Kong is in fourth place with 41 points.

Nethra Kumanan has assured herself a spot in the laser radial class category at Tokyo Olympics. On the penultimate day of the Asian Olympic qualification sailing championships here on Wednesday. the 23-year-old finished races nine and 10 in first and second positions respectively.

Nethra has 18 nett points while her nearest competitor Stephanie Norton of Hong Kong is in fourth place with 41 points. Even if Norton finishes first in the final race — all sailors in all classes get double points — on Thursday, and Nethra doesn’t complete the race, Norton will get two points, which is not enough to prevent the Indian from making it to Tokyo.

“On the one side it’s been a dream-come-true moment for me and on the other side, it’s just one step/race tomorrow (Thursday) to finish,” said Nethra.

The sailor from the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association said coaching under Hungarian coach Tamas Eszes for the last one-and-a-half years at Gran Canaria in Spain has proved to be invaluable.

“I trained with a lot of quality International sailors there and that helped me a lot,” said the World Cup bronze medallist.

The Indian pair of Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy were on top in the 49er class with a strong finish by securing fourth, second and third places in races 13, 14 and 15 respectively. For the duo to qualify, it has to finish in the top six on Thursday.

The results (overall standings, placings of Indians):

49er: Men: 1. Varun Thakkar & K.C. Ganapathy; Women: 4. Ekta Yadav & Ritika Dangi; laser radial: 1. Nethra Kumanan, 3. Ramya Saravanan, 5. Harshita Tomar; laser standard: 3. Vishnu Saravanan, 10. Upamanyu Dutta; Windsurfing: RS:X: Men: 6. Jerome Kumar, 7. Ebad Ali; RS:X: Women: 3. Ishwariya Ganesh.

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