Hyderabad: Telangana Girl Sailors dominated at just concluded International Regatta held at Pondicherry in collaboration with the French Government under the Bonjour India Bannter.
Late 2015 when Tungara Mahboobie and Lakshmi Nookarathnam of Marredpally Govt School were selected by Naandi Foundation for sailing, they did not dream that in just 2 years they will be beating the most experienced sailors at an International sailing competition.
After a disappointing Nationals with positions at 29 and 31, it seemed that a large regatta was too overwhelming and the Telangana girls lacked mental strength to perform.
The girls returned to Hyderabad demoralized but within a few days returned with resolve to Pondicherry for an International Regatta in collaboration with the French government under the Bonjour India banner.
With a week’s intense practice in the deep swell of the Arabian Sea both Mahboobie and Lakshmi redeemed themselves with some spectacular race wins beating the top Indian girls and also the Boys National Champions in a few races to clinch Gold and Silver respectively and Suddala Jeevana won the most promising sailor.
“The girls got a sudden rush of killer instinct to steamroll all experienced opposition into winning a Gold and Silver and hope this winning streak continues. I am glad that the Naavika Sailing project for the girl child has finally taken wing”, said Suheim Sheikh the Coach & President at the Yacht Club of Hyderabad.
“This is my first International Gold Medal and I was happy to beat many sailors from India especially the experienced Chennai girls and I also won the overall Bronze. Thanks very much to Suheim Sir and The Yacht Club” said a beaming Mahboobie.
“I was very focussed on my physical fitness and the best moment for me was when my coach came upto my boat and congratulated me once I got the silver. My parents are also very proud of me as this is my first medal at a regatta” said Lakshmi bursting with pride adding that she got two race wins
Both Mahboobie and Lakshmi are now focussed on the Asian Championships trials set for April in Chennai and despite a tight exam schedule are keeping up their fitness.
The Telangana sailors also dominated the under 16 Green Fleet with Pradeep Bhowmik and Ravali Parandi winning the Gold and Silver and Gnapika of Udbhav School at 4th beating all the French sailors. (INN)