Indians wins gold at ''Sail The Gulf Championship'' in Qatar

Mumbai, Feb 22 (PTI) India''s Taramati Matiwade and KalagaYaquob created history in Qatar after winning gold in theHobie 16 class at the ''Sail The Gulf Championship''.

Sailors from several countries including UK, India,Kazakhstan, Canada, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Bahrain,Pakistan, Russia, Malaysia, Sweden, Oman and Norwayparticipated in the ''Sail the Gulf-2011'' regatta, held at DohaBay from February 15-19, organised by the Qatar Sailing andRowing Federation.

With this win, Taramati has become the first Indian womanto win a gold medal in an international sailing competitionoverseas.

"This event is one of the most popular events in theworld with top class sailors participating. It was a veryclosely fought series which went down to the last race. In thelast race, we had to finish ahead of rivals from Oman to claimthe title which we did with ease," said Taramati, adding thatstrong winds and cold weather at Qatar were very unfavourable.

"Prior to the event we practiced in India in moderatewinds of 6 to 8 knots but in Qatar, we faced winds strongerthan 30 knots which made the battle for gold even morechallenging."

Taramati, who is from Mumbai, said she was now preparingfor a few match racing events to improve her world ranking andto represent in the Olympic qualifier in 2012.

She is currently ranked 100th on the ISAF Women worldmatch racing rankings and third in Asia, while first in Indiaon the ISAF ranking.

Taramati has been honoured with the ''Yashwantrao ChavanPratishtan Yuva Kreeda Puraskar'' for her outstandingperformance in sailing.

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