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India Sailing at Asian Games 2023: Full Team, Schedule, Medal Chances

Can K. C. Ganapathy, Varun Thakkar, Nethra Kumanan, Harshita Tomar and Shital Verma end India's 41-year wait for a sailing gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games?

India Sailing at Asian Games 2023: Full Team, Schedule, Medal Chances

FILE PHOTO: Sailors K. C. Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar won a bronze medal at the 49er boat category event at the 2018 Asian Games.


Shourya Mehta

Updated: 18 Sep 2023 5:16 AM GMT

With a strong fleet of 16 sailors, India would be competing in 11 Sailing events at the 19th edition of the Asian Games happening in Hangzhou, China. With three Asiad medal-winning sailors making the cut in the squad, the hopes are skyrocketing for multiple medals from the sailing events.

Tokyo Olympians K.C. Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar would be the highlight of the squad, and expectations are high for them to win the gold medal. There is also hope of India winning more medals as the team performed exceptionally well in the Asian Sailing Championship 2022. India won 9 medals in 7 different events at the tournament.

India Sailing Team

Men's Squad- Chitresh Tatha (Formula Kite), Adhvait Menon (Laser 4.7), Vishnu Saravanan (Laser), Jerome Kumar (IQFoil), Eabad Ali (Men’s RS:X), K. C. Ganapathy, and Varun Thakkar (49er)

Women's Squad- Ishwariya Ganesh (RS:X), Neha Thakur (Laser 4.7), Nethra Kumanan (Laser Radial), Harshita Tomar (49er FX), and Shital Verma (49er FX)

Mixed Team- Preethi Kongara and Sudhanshu Shekhar (Mixed 470), Siddheshwar Doiphode and Ramya Saravanan (Nacra 17)

Sailing Schedule at Asian Games

21/9/2023 - 22/9/2023 Thursday - Friday, 9 AM (Competition Days)

24/9/2023 - 26/9/2023 Sunday - Tuesday, 9 AM (Competition Days)

27/9/2023 Wednesday- Final

Medal Chances

K. C. Ganapathy & Varun Thakkar | Event- 49er (Boat Category) | Predicted Finish - Silver

K. C. Ganapathy & Varun Thakkar

India’s super sailing duo will look to upgrade their last Asian Games bronze medal and dominate the Asian men’s 49er boat category. Ganapathy and Varun have also won laurels at the past four editions of the Asian Sailing Championships. They secured the gold medals in 2018, 2019, and 2022 while settling for a silver medal in 2019. The duo also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, where they finished 17th.

A medal at the Asian Games would take them a step closer to the Paris Olympics. But at the Asiad in Hangzhou, Ganapathy and Varun will face tough competition from last edition's gold medallists Shingen Furuya and Shinji Hachiyama of Japan. Hence, the Indians may return home with a second-place finish.

Nethra Kumanan | Laser Radial | Predicted Finish - Bronze

Nethra Kumanan is a young rising sailor from India. She had been the first Indian woman to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, that too by topping the qualifying event. Nethra, the first Indian woman to win a bronze medal at the Hempel Sailing World Cup Series in January 2020, will look to make a podium finish at Hangzhou after finishing seventh and fifth in the Incheon and Jakarta Asian Games. Nethra also won a silver medal at the Asian Championships in 2022.

Nethra Kumanan

Harshita Tomar and Shital Verma | 49er FX | Predicted Finish - Bronze

21-year-old Harshita Tomar won a bronze medal at the Laser 4.7 team event at the Jakarta Asian Games four years ago. At the Hangzhou Asian Games, Harshita will pair up with her fellow Madhya Pradesh-based sailor Shital Verma at the 49er FX event, as last edition’s silver medalist-winning pair of Shweta Shervegar and Varsha Gautham is not part of the squad.

Harshita and Shital will face tough competition from sailors from Singapore and Thailand and are likely to be fighting for a medal in the women's 49er FX event.

More medal chances

Neha Thakur will compete in the Laser 4.7 event, where Harshita Tomar won a bronze medal in the Jakarta Asian Games. There are high chances of her bringing home a medal as she has recently won a bronze medal in the Asian Championships.

Ishwariya Ganesh may also be in contention for a medal in RS:X. She won a silver medal in the Asian Championships. If she wants to win a medal, she has to replicate her Asian Championship performance and come strong against sailors of China, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Chitresh Tatha and Vishnu Saravanan are the other contenders for medals. Chitresh was the youngest sailor from India to participate in the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea. He participated in the Formula Kite event. Vishnu, who contested in the Tokyo Olympics, won a bronze medal at the Under-21 World Championships. He will compete in the Laser event.

Vishnu Saravanan

Indian sailors at the 2018 Asian Games

At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, India won three medals - one silver and two bronze. While Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar paired up to win a silver medal at the 49er FX event, Ganapathy and Varun won the bronze medal in the men's event. Harshita Tomar bagged the bronze medal in the Laser 4.7 event.

Govind Bairagi and Nethra Kumanan missed medals by close margins as they finished fourth and fifth in their respective events.

Indian at Asian Games: Sailing records

India have won 20 sailing medals - one gold, seven silver and 12 bronze - in the Asian Games since its first appearance in sailing in 1970. Farokh Tarapore and Zarir Karanjia won India's lone gold medal in the fireball category at the 1982 Asian Games.

Gold - Farokh Tarapore-Zarir Karanjia (1982)

Silver - Surinder Mongia-Dharmender Kumar (1978), Jeejee Unwalla-Fali Unwalla (1982), Farokh Tarapore-Dhruv Bhandari (1986), Nitin Mongia (2002), Match Racing Team (2006, 2010), Varsha Gautam-Shweta Shervegar (2018)

Bronze - Soli Contractor-Afsar Husain (1970), CS Pradipak (1982), Farokh Tarapore-Cyrus Cama (1990), Pushpendra Kumar-Homi Motivala (1990, 1994), Farokh Tarapore-Kelly Subbanand Rao (1994), Rajesh Choudhary (2002), Ashim Mongia-Ramesh Ramachandran (2002) Varsha Gautam-Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan (2014), Harshita Tomar (2018), Varun Thakkar-KC Ganapathy (2018)

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