CHENNAI: After a couple of rousing days on the water, sailor Nethra Kumanan has almost assured herself of a place in the Tokyo Games. At the ongoing Musannah Open Championship off the Millenium Resort in Oman, the Chennai girl, who sails in the Laser Radial Class, Nethra continued her serene progress by remaining in first place after Tuesday's set of races. Even though Netherlands' Emma Savelon is just three points behind her, the Dutch girl cannot win a Olympic quota from this event. Nethra's nearest competitor is compatriot Ramya Saravanan, who is 21 points behind the 22-year-old (39.0 to 18.0).
All Nethra, who won a medal at the sailing World Cup last January, has to do on the final day of races on Thursday is to have an incident free race. As long as she finishes the race, she will become the first Indian sailor to qualify through the conventional route and not via quota or a wildcard. She will also become the first Indian woman to qualify in sailing. If India do have a good day on the water in Oman, they do have the chance to win more two additional spots.
In the 49er Class, the duo of KC Ganapathy (captain) and Ashok Thakkar (crew) continue to lead the pack ahead of the Hong Kong's Akira Sakai and Russel Aylsworth. As long as they can keep up the good work, they will join Nethra in going to Tokyo.
If the wind sails the right way, the trio could be joined by Vishnu Saravanan, an athlete in the Laser Standard Class. He is currently in third place, just behind Thailand's Keerati Bualong. "49er and Laser Standard will be decided tomorrow (Thursday)," Alexandr Denisiuc, Vishnu's coach, told TNIE.