Tokyo Games 2020: How Vishnu Saravanan fought the rough waters

After gaining confidence from Tokyo Olympics, India's top sailor Vishnu is looking forward to Paris 2024.

Vishnu Saravanan of India in action at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  REUTERS

India's top sailor Vishnu Saravanan felt his experience of training with world-class sailors for the last three years has helped him finish 20th overall among 35 fleets on Friday.

"Finishing in the top 10 in the last two races was my aim. But I am more than thrilled to have finished third in race 9," he told Sportstar from Tokyo.

Training in Malta from 2018 under coach Alexandr Denisiuc, with experienced sailors such as Rio Olympic silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic and Pavlos Kintodes for company, enabled him to hone his skills better. "It was an eye-opener training at Malta. I learnt a lot of things about my boat and a lot of technical and tactical stuff. I thank each one of them," said Vishnu, while adding that his performance in his maiden Olympics has made him more confident towards the Paris Games in 2024.

READ:  Sailing at Tokyo Olympics: Vishnu Saravanan ends campaign on a high, secures third place in Race 9

The 22-year-old earned the respect of top European sailors in Tokyo. "They (European sailors) are very focused and intense. If you lose focus, it will cost you a lot of distance, which is then difficult to make up," he said. 

Born in Vellore and brought up in Mumbai since he was seven years old, Vishnu learnt sailing at Army Yachting Node as his father Saravanan was an Asian-level windsurfer. 

With the best facility at the Army, Vishnu picked up the sport quickly and started to shine in most of the National Optimist championships. He was introduced to laser boats in 2016.

In a few years, Vishnu will be ready to challenge the best in the business.

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