Paris Games | Vishnu Sarvanan qualifies for Paris Olympics in sailing

Asian Games bronze medallist Vishnu Sarvanan became the first Indian sailor to qualify for successive Olympics as he made the cut at the World Championships here on Wednesday.

A Subedar from the Mumbai-based Army Yachting Node, the 24-year-old secured qualification for the upcoming Paris Games by finishing 26th out of 152 participants in ILCA-7.

He thus becomes the first Indian sailor to make the cut for Paris 2024.

Vishnu secured the top rank among Asian countries, surpassing gold medallists from Singapore in the Asian Games and medal winners from Hong Kong and Thailand in the Continental qualifiers.

Vishnu concluded the competition with an overall score of 174. Following the standard rule, his least score of 49 in a race was subtracted, resulting in a net score of 125.

The weather condition was windy and at its challenging best at the Adelaide Sailing Club, taking a toll on the sailors.

So gruelling has been the race that Vishnu’s fingers have become “numb” and “legs are destroyed”.

“I can’t even hold my phone now, fingers have become numb, legs are destroyed. But it’s all worth it. You get to go to Olympics,” Vishnu said.

The ILCA 7 race refers to a specific category within the ILCA (International Laser Class Association) sailing class.

The ILCA 7 is a type of sailboat, specifically a single-handed dinghy designed for racing.

Sailors in ILCA 7 category races need to master various sailing techniques, including tacking (changing direction into the wind) and gybing (changing direction with the wind at the stern).

It requires physical fitness and endurance as sailors need to be agile and capable of making quick adjustments and balance the boat with his body weight — taking the whole pressure on the spine.

At Tokyo Olympics, Vishnu competed in the men’s laser category and finished 20th in a field of 35.

Making it to the finals is the target for Paris Olympics, while the ultimate target is to get a medal at Los Angeles 2028.

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