by Aysha Rau
London 2012 Olympics Sailing Competition hopeful Rohini Rau gave India the best ever results at an Olympic qualifier since 1992. However, she missed qualifying India by one country finishing 10th in the Silver Fleet in the recently concluded World Championships in Boltenhagen, Germany in June 2012.
Rohini Rau at the Naval Sailing Club Mumbai
Unfortunately her name has not been sent to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) for an unutilized quota place (UQP) for the 2012 Olympics. The Indian Olympic Association can still submit her application for a wild card to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Rohini has received tremendous support and a stream of messages from the sailing and sports community worldwide including Olympic medalists, World Champions, officials and the International Sailing Federation.
Rohini would have been the first sailor to be considered for an UQP since India has not qualified a sailor for these Games. It is rather strange that Rohini was again not sent to compete at the Asian Sailing Championship in Malaysia in February 2012, where she would have won a Gold for India. The sailor who won the Gold at the Asian Sailing Championship has never beaten Rohini at any international Regatta and finished 39 places below her at the just concluded Worlds in Germany.
Allan Julie, a thorough professional and brilliant coach, was instrumental in Rohini winning the Bronze in Izola (Slovenia) an ISAF Graded event in 2009 - India’s first medal by a woman sailor in an Olympic Class! Rohini is headed for the Seychelles to train with Allan Julie hoping she can compete at the London Olympics through a wild card entry. She is also keeping her sights on winning a medal for India at the Asian Games in 2014 where the Laser Radial is a women’s category and also towards qualifying India for the 2016 Games in Rio.