Rohini Rau wins sailing bronze medal

April 14th, 2009 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 14 (IANS) Rohini Rau created history by becoming the first Indian woman sailor to finish on the podium in an international Olympic class Regatta when she finished third in the 2009 Izola Spring Cup, an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 3 event, in Slovenia.
According to information received here, it was the 22-year old Chennai-based Rohini’s first international medal in the single hander Radial Class, Sunday.

Despite having the worst possible start to a regatta, Rohini managed to climb back strongly and win the bronze medal behind Elisabetta Macchini (Italy) and Katharina Roeggla (Austria).

Rohini, the reigning National champion, said: “It feels good. I was only two points away from silver and then I messed up my last race. It was the first time I had got two yellow flag penalties in the first race itself (DSQ)… so in spite of all that, I guess bronze wasn’t so bad.”

Her coach, Allen Jullie, a four-time Olympian from Seychelles, said: “She kept a cool head and focused right through the regatta. Her goal this month was to just get into shape as she had been racing different classes of boats.

“She surprised all of us by winning the bronze medal after a one-year break from international competition in the Radial class. She has potential to create waves in the international sailing scene. She is a medical student; yet she has been able to train hard and sail. I am happy to be working with the Indian athlete.”

When asked how it felt to be the first Indian woman to win a medal in an Olympic class sailing event, Rohini, who is supported by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), the Sports Authority of India and the AMM Foundation, said: “It’s a step in the right direction for Indian women in sailing. After all the support and effort that my parents, brother (Ajay Rau), coach Alen Jullie and fitness trainer Ramji Srinivas have put in, I guess this is only the beginning.”

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