Hyderabad: Two girls from Telangana have been shortlisted to participate at the World Championships at Lake Riva Del Garda in Italy from July 1 to 12.
Jhansi Priya and sibling Dharani Laveti are guaranteed a spot in the squad. But, a lot still depends on their performance at the Nationals at Mumbai to be held later this year in the month of May. It also depends on the funding to finally clear their entries.
Jhansi and Dharani finished a creditable 44th and 59th out of 181 sailors at the Atlantic Week at Vigo, Spain in October in the open category and are gunning for a medal at the Nationals.
To double the good news 4 girls from Telangana are in the National A Squad and all set to go for the Asian & Oceanian Championships at Trincomalee, in Sri Lanka from June 6-12 where the Monsoon winds could be a smashing 18 knots.
2020 is an Olympic year. And all funding from the Sports Ministry is focused on the Games to be held in July. And these Sub Junior girls have to spend for themselves. The Yacht Club has however confirmed that no stones shall be left unturned to ensure that all the girls participate and make full use of this opportunity to gain international exposure. Participation in large international fleets, an official said, “will only serve toward improving their boat handling, tactics, strategy, and competitive edge while the girls have earned a spot through sheer dint of hard work.”
The Telangana girls represented India at the 2019 Oman Asians and while Preethi and Lakshmi migrated to the Juniors from Sub Juniors. Jhansi Priya was ranked 17 amongst girls in Asia and could well be in the reckoning for a medal at Trincomalee. The last time India got a Sub Junior Asian medal was by Harishta Tomar of Madhya Pradesh who got a Bronze in 2014 at the Qatar Asians.
“This is a matter of great pride for us and the girls have lost no time in stepping up intensive fitness and sailing sessions. Including Jhansi Priya, 3 girls are guaranteed a spot at the Asians and we hope to squeeze in a fourth depending on their performance at the Nationals in Mumbai end of April month. All girls turn 14 this year and have one more year to seek the podium at both the Asians and Worlds. This experience will only help increase their medal potential“, said Suheim Sheikh their Coach and the President of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad.
“The Naavika Program at Hyderabad, focused on the girl child under the tagline ‘Dignity Through Sports’ and managed by the Yacht Club of Hyderabad is bearing fruit each year and we wish all the young sailors the very best on international waters at Trincomalee and Lake Garda”, said Lt. Gen. KS Rao, VSM, President of the Telangana Sailing Association.
Jhansi Priya whose mother works at Yashoda Hospital is all excited to represent India once again. After the Oman Asians and Atlantic Week in Spain and Portugal, I am “supremely confident of getting a medal said Jhansi.” Jhansi is currently ranked No.2 in India and 17 at the Asians and with improved fitness daily monitored by Suchitra Academy – the same center at which PV Sindhu trains – Jhansi is gearing up to compete with the best in the World.
Her sister Dharani Laveti is ranked 3rd but given that she has moved to the Laser Olympic Class is planning to wait for the Marve Nationals to decide if she plans to go international in the Sub Juniors or upgrade to the Juniors at the next Laser Nationals.
Compatriots Vaishnavi Veeravamsham and Parandi Ravali also are from Telangana currently ranked 4th and 5th in India have no Asian record as yet and will make their debut at Trincomalee in June. Both are on the waitlist for the Worlds and practicing hard for the Nationals at Mumbai. Ravali finished a spectacular 10th girl at the Atlantic Week in Portugal last October, her first European Regatta in icy cold weather beating all her compatriots from India and could well turn up a dark horse.
The girls are studying at the IIM-Ahmedabad Alumni funded school Udbhav at Rasoolpura that supports them in their sailing endeavors that had three National Champions before including Durga Prasad who represented India at the Thailand Worlds in 2016 who is now in the Navy Sailing School.
Sirisha Kerre of Mahboobnagar, studying at the Social Welfare School at Nadcherla is ranked 9th and is on the waitlist. Her performance at the Nationals at Bombay will decide her participation or in case better-seeded sailors drop out due to funding issues. She has moved to Hyderabad to intensify her training at the Academy
If the girls perform well at the Nationals at Marve Beach Bombay then the Yacht Club has decided to send 3 girls instead of two to the World Championships depending on available slots and funding.
So all eyes are on the Marve National Ranking Championships to figure out who will represent India at Lake Garda Italy and Trincomalee, Srilanka.