Nethra Kumanan, who created history by becoming the first Indian woman sailor to secure an Olympics quota place in the Laser Radial event, said she wants to ‘do the absolute best’ at the quadrennial games and that ‘it was just the start’.
The Chennai-based Kumanan had clinched the Tokyo Games quota at the Mussanah Open Championship in Oman recently.
“It feels amazing to achieve Olympic qualification, which has been my dream for many years. It feels incredible that all my hard work has paid off and this is really just the start for me. This event has been extremely good for Indian sailing," said Kumanan in a media interaction on Friday.
“Apart from me, there are three others who have qualified as well. I’m so excited to go to Tokyo, have fun, and do the absolute best that I can. It’s a huge step for me and I can’t wait to represent India at the biggest stage of them all," added the 22-year-old engineering student on Friday.
Kumanan, who began competing at the top level at the age of 15 and represented India at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, first created history in January 2020 when she became the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami.
Since early 2020, she has been living in Gran Canaria, Spain, training under Tamas Eszes at his academy.
“Nethra is at the beginning of her journey. Going to Tokyo is only our first start. The next Olympics is only three years away, so we have already started our campaign for the 2024 Games. Qualifying for Tokyo is a big step for Nethra," said coach Eszes.