6 Yatch Club of Hyd sailors to take part in Oman event
Preethi Kongara, Jhansi Priya and Lakshmi Nookarathnam from humble background to make indernational debut at IODA Asian and Oceanian Championships in Mussanah Sports City
Hyderabad: Three young girls Preethi Kongara, Jhansi Priya and Lakshmi Nookarathnam are among six of the Yatch Club of Hyderabad sailors out of the 10 selected to represent India at the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) Asian and Oceanian Championships scheduled to be held in Mussanah Sports City, Oman from September 30 to October 7.
Hailing from a very underprivileged background, the city girls would have never imagined that they would all be selected for a sailing championship outside India.
Making a maiden debut in an international is something they could have never dreamt of and were really thrilled to know of the great news.
Jhansi aged 12 is the youngest member of the Indian contingent and the other two girls are of 15years of age. They are all set to leave Indian shores for their first International Regatta with more than 300 sailors from across the Asian and Oceanian regions.
The 10-member Indian team comprising of five boys and five girls were selected based on their ranking at the all-India level.
Vijay Kumar, Sachin Bethmalla and Vishwanath Padidala are also ex Yacht Club sailors who honed their skills here at Hussain Sagar before being absorbed by the Army and Navy Sailing Schools.
Thus the total number of sailors from YCH and Telangana is 6 out of 10 selected to the Indian team.
Participating in IODA sailing event at the picturesque purpose-build Olympic standard venue, including the Millennium Resort Mussanah, with ideal winter sailing conditions of warm weather and reliable winds will be a great experience to the Hyderabadi Sailors.
The Mussanah Sports City in Oman has been widely regarded as one of the best venues for sailing competitions and has hosted numerous international sailing events, including world championships.
It is a matter of great pride and prestige for Indian Sailors to participate in such a venue.
After a fantastic performance at the just concluded 11th edition of Monsoon Regatta at Hyderabad this is the best news that they could have got from the federation.
The Asian and Oceanian Championships include both Individual Fleet racing and Team Racing.
China, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and 16 other nations from the Asian and Oceanian regions are expected to participate in a fleet of about 150 participants.
The three girls from Telangana had bagged gold, silver and bronze at the recently concluded Telangana State Championships while Preethi Kongara made history by winning the National Ranking Monsoon Regatta gold thereafter.
Preethi is a class 10 student of Nallagutta Govt School while Jhansi and Lakshmi are from Udbhav School, Rasoolpura, Secunderabad studying in class 8 and 9 respectively. All these girls hail from very humble background.
"We would like to reach the venue much earlier with our coach to get accustomed to the conditions over there, like wind and water," said the teen sailing sensation Preethi, brimming with confidence after her two recent wins in a row.
"With 6 of the Indian contingent from the Yacht Club of Hyderabad it is certainly a matter of pride that our efforts have paid off and especially with the girls who come under the Naavika Project we started exactly three years ago.
I do look forward to a few medals coming to India this year as the girls are primed to give their best," said Suheim Sheikh their coach and the President of the Yacht Club.
The girls are super excited to be selected and are heading for the Gym to keep up their fitness levels while striking a balance between sport and extra tuitions and classes at school.
This international exposure will only spur Jhansi Priya's preparations for the next National Championship.