Weightlifting coach Harnam angry at Dronacharya snub

Weightlifting coach Harnam Singh is furious that he has been ignored for this year's Dronacharya Award despite his wards winning gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and said that he was more deserving than those selected for the coveted honour.

Harnam, who guided K Ravi Kumar and Renubala Chanu to gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, said that he deserved to be recommended for the Dronacharya Award.

"I was the head coach of Indian weightlifting team in 2010 Commonwealth Games. Ravi Kumar and Renubala won a gold each and we won four silver. I applied last year also. I have been ignored for two successive years," Harnam told PTI today.

"I was the coach of men's team in this year's Commonwealth Championships at Apia in Samoa where India won record medals (45 medals including 29 gold, counting youth and junior medals). I don't know what I need to do to get the Dronacharya Award. I am disappointed," he added.

Harnam wondered on what criteria he was not considered for the Award.

"I don't know what criteria the selection committee followed. Whether it is seniority or performance of the wards under them. On both counts I have done well.

Most of those who have been recommended were junior to me in coaching career. If performance was the criteria I don't think that those who were recommended were better than me," he said.

A top weightlifter of the country during his days, Harnam rued that his sport has been given step-motherly treatment in honouring for the Dronacharya Award.

"It has been some years nobody from weightlifting has been considered for Dronacharya despite the lifters doing well in the international arena for the past few years," said Harnam, who won a gold in the 1992 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in New Zealand.

"Other sports are getting the award regularly but for so many years no weightlifting coach has won the Award," he rued.

The last recipient of the Dronacharya Award from weightlifting was woman coach Hansa Sharma in 2000.

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