In a historic first, India will compete in three sailing events at the Games after the pair of KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 49er class on Thursday. The duo finished first on Wednesday by occupying the fourth, second and third places in races 13, 14 and 15 respectively at the Mussanah Open Championships.
Earlier in the day, Vishnu Saravanan earned India's second Olympic quota in Laser Standard class after finishing second in the Asian Qualifier event. Saravanan, who occupied the third spot until Wednesday, jumped one place to second in the rankings behind Singapore's Ryan Lo Jun Han.
World Cup bronze medalist Nethra Kumanan on Wednesday became the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the quadrennial event. She finished first and second in races nine and ten respectively.
"Yes, Vishnu has also qualified for the Olympics. Nethra has already qualified on Wednesday. Till Wednesday, Vishnu was third behind the Thai sailor though both were on same points. Today in the medal race, Vishnu finished first and so naturally he ended above the Thai sailor in points table. Two sailors qualify for Olympics in laser class and Vishnu finished second," Yachting Association of India joint secretary general Capt Jitendra Dixit told PTI.
Tokyo Olympics: Maximum number of Indian sailors qualified at a single Olympics edition
So far, only nine Indians have been able to qualify for a sailing event at the Olympics. Nachhatar Singh Johal (2008), Shroff and Sumeet Patel (2004), F Tarapore and Cyrus Cama (1992), Kelly Rao (1988), Dhruv Bhandari (1984), Soli Contractor and A A Basith (1972) are the Indian sailors who have participated at the Olympics.
There have been four instances where two Indian sailors had secured their Olympic quotas, but they competed in the same event. This is the first time India will compete in more than one sailing event.
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