Chennai-based Nethra Kumanan has become the first Indian woman to claim a medal at the Sailing World Cup. She bagged a bronze medal during the second round of the sailing competition, which was held in the Hempel World Series in Miami, US.
The 22-year-old sailor finished behind sailors Erika Reineke of the US and Vasilieia Karachaliou of Greece who won gold and silver respectively, in the laser radial category. Talking to media, Nethra said that she was unaware of having secured a bronze until a participant sailor informed her.
Nethra has earlier participated in international events like Asian Games at Jakarta in 2014 and 2018 as well. Speaking on the recent victory, she has said, “At the Asian Games, I was under a lot of pressure to get a spot for the Olympics. A lot of it was self-inflicted and so I failed there. This year I am trying to be more consistent with training and always will work towards the big goal of the Olympics.”
Her preparations for the world championship included training at Canary Islands in Spain, alongside top sailors such as Ebru Bolat from Romania and Vasileia Karachaliou of Greece. Nethra was also trained by psychologist Mon Brokman to ensure a calm mental state.
The Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs congratulated her on Twitter.
Currently pursuing engineering at SRM University in Chennai, Nethra will be next seen at the Asian Sailing Championships in Abu Dhabi from March 15, 2020. Currently ranked the sixth best sailor in Asia, she stands a chance to seal a seat in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if she wins either of the first two spots at the event.
What a finale! @amerikandreem 🇺🇸 takes GOLD! 🥇— World Sailing 🌎⛵️ (@worldsailing) January 25, 2020
Vasileia Karachaliou 🇬🇷 wins silver 🥈
And a brilliant Medal Race win for Nethra Kumanan 🇮🇳 gives her bronze! 🥉
📺 Watch LIVE:
➡️ https://t.co/aOzLCNJAfG#hwcsmiami 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/7K8kUOhTjY
Nethra’s journey as a sailor began when she took part in a summer camp in 2013, organised by Tamil Nadu Sailing Association.