Nethra Kumanan, who is interested in Bharatanatyam, qualified for the Paris Olympics in the rowing event

Netra Kumanan, who performed brilliantly in the Tokyo Olympics, has qualified for the Paris Olympics. She is also the only female sailor to represent India in two consecutive Olympic Games. Kumanan has been very interested in Bharatanatyam dance since childhood. All the other Indian sailors who made it to the Olympics before her were men and they were able to make it to the competition due to the quota not being fulfilled in the Olympic sport. Some of those Indian sailors got a place in the Olympics after being on the waiting list.

Born on August 21, 1997, Netra Kumanan was called up for sailing during a summer camp organised by the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association in 2011. She was just 12 years old at the time. It was a time when she was exploring things. Netra loved tennis, basketball and cycling as a youngster. But what she learnt most was Bharatanatyam (an Indian classical dance), which she had to give up for sailing. Bharatanatyam gave dimension to her life, inculcating values ‚Äč‚Äčlike discipline, hard work and dedication in her, which help her even today. While she is away from Bharatanatyam, sailing has become an integral part of her life.

Netra Kumanan, an engineering student at SRM College, Chennai, has won the national championship twice and has been runner-up twice. Her first podium finish in an international event was at the India International Regatta held in Chennai in 2014. Netra started her international sailing career in an under-21 event in 2013. This Chennai sailor races in the Laser Radial category. This is a small style boat that is steered with one hand. Netra Kumanan has shown India a new path in sailing.

She is also the first Indian woman to win a medal in the sport after she won a bronze medal at the second round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami in January 2020. But, Nethra Kumanan did not celebrate that victory as she defeated her roommate and friend Matilda Talluri of Italy, who finished fifth. Nethra Kumanan is an experienced sailor. She has represented India at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games. Her best performance was at the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she finished fourth.

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