Nethra Kumanan is a sailor with a creative aptitude. The 22-year-old engineering scholar from Chennai, who turned the primary Indian lady sailor to earn a berth for the Olympics on Wednesday, is a educated dancer, singer, and proficient painter as effectively.
The second-year BE mechanical engineering scholar etched her title within the historical past books by incomes the elusive ticket due to her exploits within the Laser Radial race on the Mussanah Open Championship in Oman, an Asian and African qualifier. On Thursday, Nethra completed second behind Emma Charlotte Jeanne Savelon of the Netherlands. She had all however sealed the Olympic spot a day earlier due to factors earned in earlier rounds and the medal was an added bonus.
Though Nethra was disillusioned in lacking out on the gold medal, she was relieved. “I might have completed higher and chased (Emma) her however I misplaced out resulting from some errors that I couldn’t rectify. I’m actually joyful about incomes an Olympic berth. I hope this conjures up different younger ladies to take up crusing,” Nethra instructed The Indian The Press Reporter.
It was a memorable competitors for the entire Indian crusing contingent as three others certified for the Tokyo Olympics: Vishnu Saravanan (Laser Customary Class) and the pair of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar (49er Class).
Nethra, who has been coaching in Spain for the final 12 months and a half, developed an curiosity within the sport throughout a summer time camp at school. The soft-spoken athlete had tried her hand at varied sports activities like tennis, basketball and biking earlier than discovering her real love, crusing. To take up crusing significantly she had to surrender on Bharatanatyam lessons.
“I nonetheless suppose Bharatanatyam has taught me rather a lot. Self-discipline, onerous work and dedication are issues I’ve learnt from the dance kind and one thing that helps me even right now,” stated Nethra who educated for six years beneath famend guru Alarmel Valli.
Throughout her coaching stints, Nethra is usually shuttling from Chennai to Spain whereas managing her faculty classes on-line. “She trains in Europe for a month and comes again house to remain a few months earlier than heading again,” stated father VC Kumanan, who runs a software program firm.
“It’s a matter of nice pleasure that not solely her however the others from the Indian crew have additionally certified. Despite the fact that we knew Nethra would pull it off, I used to be nonetheless tense until the final second. As quickly as she certified I used to be relieved and glad,” Nethra’s father added.
Final 12 months due to COVID-related journey restrictions, Nethra was caught in Spain. In hindsight, the teenager feels it was a very good studying expertise however again then she grew terribly homesick.
“It was one of many hardest durations for me. I used to be lacking my house and pals rather a lot. So this time after we went to Oman my household got here alongside,” she stated.
Nethra has been across the crusing circuit. She had taken half within the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta Asian Video games however she got here into the limelight after successful a bronze on the Hempel World Cup Sequence, Miami, in January final 12 months. It was a feather in her cap as she was the primary Indian lady to win a World Cup medal in crusing.
Nethra credit her success solely to her father VC Kumanan who has backed her to the hilt even throughout essentially the most testing instances.
“If I’m something right now it is because of my father. He has at all times backed me and continues to be funding my coaching. I normally get slightly wired earlier than competitions however since my dad and mom have been right here (in Oman) I didn’t need to take care of that this time. I believe I carried out higher as a result of they have been right here,” stated Nethra.