The Indian sailing team has done the country proud, winning one silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The duo of Varsha Gautham-Shweta Shervegar won the silver in the 49 er FX, while Harshita Tomar, in the Laser 4.7 category won the bronze. The 49er team of Varun Thakkar-Ganapathy have secured the third position after a very tough competition in the scheduled 15 races. Govind Bairagi in Laser 4.7 came fourth. Among the remaining sailors, Nethra of Laser Radial secured fifth position. The RS One team of Dayne and Katya Coelho secured the eighth position.
Laser 4.7 race is an open category, where males and females compete in the same race. Both Tomar and Bairagi come from very humble backgrounds and are trained by the National Sailing School, Bhopal. The Madhya Pradesh Government, under the aegis of the YAI, has supported several sailors from impoverished backgrounds. The effort is clearly bearing fruit.
The duo of Varsha Gautham-Shweta Shervegar, of 49er FX, consistently maintained second position since the beginning of the races. The girls have shown great diligence and consistency in their performance, said a senior official of the Yachting Association of India (YAI).
Varun Thakkar and Ganapathy received a setback when the Oman team made a representation against them on the penultimate day of racing, which was upheld by the Games officials. This led to them slipping from second to fourth position. But on the final day of the race, they climbed back fighting to secure a medal. The boys are from the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association.
The Honorary Secretary General, Rear Admiral Atul Anand who was at the venue said that the YAI is proud of the performance by the sailing contingent. He said that in accordance with the vision of the President YAI, the Federation has been supporting the sailors since the beginning. YAI has provided them with international coaches, who are ex-Olympians.
Rear Admiral Atul Anand stated that the mission of the President YAI who is also the Chief of the Naval Staff was to broad-base the sport of Sailing and improving the available infrastructure to international standards. This has brought the desired results. YAI and our enthusiastic young sailors could not have achieved what they did in the Asian Games 2018 without the whole hearted support from the Sports Authority of India and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. YAI is also thankful to the support provided by the Indian Navy in particular, the Indian Army, PSU Dockyards/ IOC and Public Sector and Private Ports in facilitating and supporting the sport of Sailing.