Nethra Kumanan is an Indian woman sailor born on 21st August 1997. She hails from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She specializes in Laser Radical and represents India internationally in that discipline.
Nethra Kumanan was born to VC Kumanan and his wife. Her father is an IT professional and runs his own IT firm.
Nethra tried her hands at sailing after she joined the summer camp organized by Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA) in 2009. By the time she joined the camp, she was 12-year-old. Before pursuing her interest in sailing, she had explored other sports including tennis, basketball, and cycling. Nethra is also a Bharatnatyam dancer. She credits Bharatnatyam for instilling discipline, confidence, and determination.
Nethra spends most of her training at Canary Island in Spain under the tutelage of a Hungarian coach and 2-time Olympian Tamas Eszes. Apart from sailing, she is an engineering student from SRM University and determined to acquire her engineering degree.
Rise to Glory
Nethra Kumanan received a career breakthrough in 2014 when she won her first international medal by winning Bronze in Laser Radial at the India International Regatta in Chennai. In 2015, she won her first senior national title at the YAI Senior National Championship in Mumbai. That year, she bagged a Silver medal at the Hong Kong Race Week.
In 2016, Nethra won the Gold medal at the Multiclass Senior Nationals in Mumbai. A year later, in August, she bagged the Silver medal at the Multiclass Sailing Championship in Bhopal. In December, Nethra won the Silver medal at the YAI National Championship.
In July 2018, Nethra clinched the Silver at the YAI Senior National Championship. Exactly a year later, she bagged a Bronze medal at the Hyderabad Sailing Week.
Nethra Kumanan made her international debut in 2014 at the ISAF Youth Worlds Championship in Portugal, where she finished 40th in the Laser Radial event. That year, she competed at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, and failed to win a medal.
In 2015, Nethra bagged the Bronze medal in Laser Radial at the ASAF Youth Sailing Cup Finals in Jakarta. A year later, in March, she failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics after she finished 7th in the Asian Championship (Olympic Qualifying event) in Abu Dhabi. In 2017, Nethra participated in the Laser Radial U-21 World Championship in Belgium, where she finished 39th
Nethra took part in the Asian Sailing Championship in 2018 and ended her campaign by finishing 6th. Later that year, in August, she made her second appearance at the Asian Games, and this time she finished 4th in the Laser Radial event. The following year, she made her Laser Radial World Championship debut in Japan and finished at 66th position.
In January 2020, Nethra won the Bronze medal at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami, USA.
In April 2021, Nethra hit the national headlines after she created history by becoming the first woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She booked her Olympic berth by finishing second in Laser Radial at the Mussanah Open Championship in Oman. Mussanah Open Championship is one of the 4 Asian Olympic Qualification tournaments for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.