For Nethra Kumanan, the sailing World Cup bronze medal was
just a tick off the box, as she prepares to fulfil her Olympic dream. She made
a light work of the World Cup medal, which she bagged in Miami, United States
on January 25, as the Chennai sailor has set her sail towards bigger dreams to
The experience at the World Cup might act as a boost for the sailor, which comes right ahead of her shot at Olympic qualifying at the Asian sailing championships, slated to take place from March 15 to 22.
In an exclusive interview to The Bridge, the first
Indian woman to win a World Cup medal, spoke about her Olympic dream.
“I have always had goals, of course the Olympic dream is
a big one, there’s always a goal to work towards it,” Kumanan said.
Kumanan was privileged enough to have family support as her
brother used to sail too and father helped her out by maintaining important
“A brother who sailed is good moral support, a mother
who’s extremely proud and motivational and critical when required as well and a
father who does every bit of statistical analysis possible to help me,” she
Apart from the family support, she also feels they have been
extremely realistic in their approach towards her.
“My family has been my biggest motivation, I think they are incredibly supportive, but also anchoring and realistic.”
It did not take Kumanan too long to leave a mark in sailing as
she had picked up the sport only in 2011. But once Kumanan took to the water, there
has been no looking back for her. And
the sailor has went on to conquer new heights one after the another.
“First started in 2011 if I remember right, started
weekend sailing went to nationals next year, being a girl, medalled early, and
been taking steps forward and backward ever since, “she said.
Kumanan also feels, as a kid, sailing was something that
intrigued her the most. She had represented India at the Asian Games in 2014
and 2018 and has also bagged quite a few medals at national events.