Fernandez tipped for Dronacharya

 India’s Cuban boxing coach B I Fernandez and wrestling coach Yashvir Singh are among those recommended for the Dronacharya awards.

A 15-member committee headed by former hockey player Aslam Sher Khan met on Tuesday and recommended eight names for the award out of the 53 applicants. However, the names are yet to be finalised and the sports minister’s approval is awaited. Normally, five names are reco­­­m­m­ended for the Dronacharya awards.

Fernandez, who has been associated with Indian boxing for over a decade, will be the first foreign coach to receive the award.

“We have made a special recommendation for Fernandez. He has been associated with
Indian boxing for a long time and has played an important part in India’s success on the international circuit. Now, it is up to the government to finalise his name,” a committee member told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity.

According to the panel member, the other names recommended are Virender Poonia (athletics), Sunil Dabas (kabaddi), Satyapal Singh (para sports), Harendra Singh (hockey), Bhawani Mukherjee (table tennis) and J S Bhatia (athletics).

“It is indeed a great honour for me. I have been coaching for 19 years and it feels great when your hard work is recognised. I was there with the team in Beijing and in London this time. I am proud of the boys who made it possible,” Yashvir said.

Virender is the husband-cum-coach of discus thrower Krishna Poonia, who won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010.

India won two medals in wrestling at the Olympic Games this time, with Sushil Kumar claiming a silver and Yogeshwar Dutt picking up a bronze.

The selection committee for the Dhyanchand awards also met on the day. Jagraj Singh Mann (athletics), Vinod Kumar (wrestling), Sukhbir Singh Tokas (para), Parminder Singh (football), and Gundeep Kumar (hockey) are among those who were recommended for the life-time award.

A formal announcement is expected by Wednesday. Meanwhile, the government announced the name of four persons for the 2011 Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.

They are  Col Anand Swaroop, SM  (Land Adventure),  Sub Rajendra Singh Jalal  (Land  Adventure),  Bhakti Sharma  (Water Adventure) and Mandip Singh Soin.

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