Sandhu to bid farewell

Having served as national coach for close to two decades during which India produced its first Olympic medallist in boxing, Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu is retiring after the London Games and the only farewell gift he wants from his wards is a strong medal haul.

The 59-year-old, who was first appointed senior national coach in 1993, said he would leave a satisfied man if the unprecedented seven-strong contingent training under his tutelage goes on to improve upon the one bronze performance in 2008 Olympics that changed the face of Indian boxing.

“I am anyway retiring next year as an NIS coach because I would have touched 60. But even otherwise I don’t wish to continue beyond London. Hopefully I will do it with a better coloured medal. I have enjoyed my career immensely and I am a very satisfied man,” Sandhu told PTI.

“The Indian Boxing Federation elections are due later this year and whether I continue as national coach would be their call but I would personally want to step down after London,” he said.

The effervescent Punjabi, who first became a coach in 1978, has seen the worst and the best of Indian boxing, and looking back at the rollercoaster ride, Sandhu said he sometimes feels amazed at the way the sport has grown.

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