Need to be cool-minded like Dhoni: Sarvanan
Vishnu Saravanan and Nethra Kumanan, said the Olympic Games later this year would be a great learning curve
New Delhi: Vishnu Saravanan, India’s premier Laser Standard sailor, has said it was important for him and his three fellow-sailors, Nethra Kumanan (Laser Radial) and Vishnu Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (Skiff 49er), to remain cool-minded like former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni when they compete in the Olympic Games.
In a virtual media interaction, facilitated by the Sports Authority of India, Vishnu Saravanan and Nethra Kumanan, said the Olympic Games later this year would be a great learning curve. “We will go to the Games without a lot of expectation. We will see where we stand against the world level. This will be a great learning process for us,” she said.
Vishnu Saravanan echoed her thoughts. “I will be happy to finish in the top 50 per cent. There’s no pressure because we know we’re not there yet. We are young and have room to learn more. The whole nation has so much hope on us but we have to be cool-minded like MS Dhoni and do our job,” he said.
For the first time, Indian sailors have qualified for three events, doing well in the Mussanah Open Sailing Championships in Oman, an Asian and African Olympic Qualifier. The team had a training camp, funded to the tune of Rs 1.29 crore by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in Oman for 15 days before the start of the Championship.
For the Olympic cycle beginning 2017, the Ministry has extended funding to the sailors through the Yachting Association of India a sum of Rs. 12.11 crore as part of the Annual Competition and Training Calendar (ACTC).
Excerpts from the online media interaction:
On qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics:
Nethra: We were working very hard for this and right now, we are excited that finally the Olympic dream has been achieved. It’s a huge step to be at the Olympics and it’s brought a lot of light to the sport of Sailing and I hope many people take it up. I’m also honoured to be the first woman sailor from India to make it to the Olympics.
Vishnu: Qualification in Oman drained a lot of energy from us. We have trained hard and know our boat speed is good. The Olympics qualification’s brought a lot of recognition to Sailing and will help in years to come.
On inclusion in TOPS:
Vishnu: Thanks to the Sports Authority of India for selecting us in TOPS. It gets expensive at a high level and we want new equipments and the Sailing community is producing new equipments every day. We have to train with the top guys and we need lot of budgeting. So, heartfelt thanks to SAI for doing this for us.
Nethra: Being in TOPS will provide much benefits for our travelling expenses. We are extremely grateful for this and this will give us an extra incentive to perform the best at the Olympics. I wholeheartedly thank the Indian Govt, SAI, our federation and so on.
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