Coach Manoharan gets short shrift

Coach Manoharan gets short shrift

Boxers have benefitted from his training during formative years

The Olympic-bound trio of teen Indian boxers spent their formative years under his guidance but national youth coach G Manoharan remains an unsung hero and has been consistently ignored for the Dronacharya award despite being recommended five times by the federation.

Olympic-bound L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and even the 20-year-old Vikas Krishan (69kg) honed their skills at the youth level with Manoharan at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.

Adding this year’s recommendation, Manoharan’s name has been nominated five times by the Indian Boxing Federation but despite his proven credentials, the 55-year-old Sports Authority of India coach has been ignored.

“All these boys have submitted affidavits that Manoharan is the one who groomed them in their formative years to support his case. He has been a good coach ,” an IBF official said. “This  is the fifth time the IBF is recommending him because he has produced consistent results since taking over in 2006,” he added. Manoharan, a former boxer, is a quarterfinalist from the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The 1981 Arjuna awardee, who has been India’s youth coach since 2006, has delivered the results.

Under Manoharan’s guidance, Thokchom Nanao Singh became the first Indian to be a youth world champion in 2008. The Manipuri then went on to make his mark at the senior level as well by winning a silver at the 2009 Asian Championships.

Of the three teens who are going to the Olympics, Shiva clinched a silver at the 2010 Youth World Championships. The 18-year-old, who clinched a gold at his maiden senior international event last year, is the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics.

Vikas became only the second Indian after Vijender Singh to clinch a medal at the World Championships when he fetched a bronze in Azerbaijan last year. 

“It’s like doing a job without expecting rewards but end of the day we are all human. But I feel happy that the boys trained by me are doing so well internationally,” said Manoharan.

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