One of the crucial arms of the Indian Army, the combative Madras Engineer Group (MEG), is well known for its exploits, both in combat and in aiding civilian authorities. But his exploits, sporting excellence and honors on the sports fields and in the water sports of rowing and sailing are no less remarkable.
In keeping with tradition, MEG sailors emerged triumphant in the 2022 Asian Sailing Championship which recently concluded in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates between February 26 and March 6, leading the Indian charge and winning three out of five medals that the Indian men team pocketed at the prestigious championships.
MEG sailors won one gold, one silver and one bronze in the senior and junior categories. Unveiling this March 9, a Ministry of Defense spokesperson said eight MEG sailors participated in the senior and youth categories. While Tokyo Olympian Subedar Vishnu Saravanan took gold in the Laser Standard Men’s category, Havildar Prince Noble and Sapper Manu Francis won bronze in the 49er Men’s category. Boys Sports Company (BSC) cadet Sabavath Vijay Kumar took silver in the Boys Laser 4.7 category. India has won nine championship medals, with women and girls winning four.
Much of MEG’s success in water sports stems from introducing the discipline of sailing to MEG’s Boys Sports Company.
The spokesperson said, “Established in recognition of MEG’s ‘striving for excellence’ and in line with the national goal of developing Olympians, the Boys Sports Company sailing discipline currently has 22 sailing cadets. They are prepared to become future Olympic medalists. These MEG sailors have participated in various national/international championships and have won a large number of medals in the recent past. Subedar Vishnu Saravanan, Cadet Koteswara Rao, Cadet Bharat, Cadet Pandey and Cadet Nagarjuna shone in a short span of two years.
He added that the site which was developed at Krishna Raja Sagara Dam near Mysuru provided the ideal training conditions for inland and offshore sailing (minus tidal conditions). Aspiring sailors have benefited from sea training on the high seas off Karwar.
The spokesperson attributed much of the MEG sailors’ success to the “unwavering and continued support of the General Thimmayya National Adventure Academy (GTNAA)” and the Karnataka Department of Youth and Sports, which ” facilitated the development of sailing in the state in a big way”.