K. C. Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar from the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA) aced the field to win the gold in the Asian Sailing Championship in Oman on Tuesday.

The duo, creditably, had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics; they were among the four sailors to achieve the feat, becoming the first Indians to gain direct qualification. This is the maiden competition for Ganapathy and Varun after the mega event in Japan.

Both the sailors are supported by the SDAT but lack a coach. For the event in Oman, they had to hire a foreign coach Bunny Warren - private sponsors have played a role in getting him on board - who has had successes with the duo in the past as well.

This is the third time Ganapathy and Varun are winning a medal in the Asian Championship. The tally includes two golds and a silver.

‘Happy development’

Talking to Sportstar , Ashok Thakkar, president, TNSA, and father of Varun observed, “We are happy that Ganapathy and Varun are maintaining their level of performance at the Asian level.”

He, however, added, “But the Sports Authority of India has to find and give them a coach for the two boys to aim for a podium finish in the next Olympics, in France. They do need a dedicated coach.”

Thakkar was pleased that sailing activities had resumed in Chennai, at an alternate location provided by SDAT for operation by TNSA, after a three-year gap. “This will benefit all sailors in the State. It is a very happy development,” Thakkar said.