Manoharan in fray for Drona

I'm delighted, says boxing coach

Whenever the schedules of multi-discipline international events are put out, most Indian fans rush to find out the start date of the boxing competitions.

And not without reason. Indian boxers have been responsible for a plethora of medals at the international stage in the recent past. 

One of the main reasons for that has been India’s youth coach, G Manoharan, who was recommended for the Dronacharya Award on Monday, along with Jose Jacob, N Lingappa, Mahaveer Prasad and Gurcharan Singh Gogi. 

Speaking about his recognition with Deccan Herald, Manoharan, who was a quarterfinalist at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, said he was happy with the honour. “The coaches before me were giving the country bronze. I came into the youth set up in 2006 and I have been giving them silver and gold and I am delighted that I have been nominated,” he said. 

When asked why it took the panel so many years to recognise his abilities as a coach, Manoharan said, ‘I have no clue.’ 

“I know that the Indian Boxing Federation have been recommending my name for this award since 2006 but once it went to the (Sports) Ministry, I really didn’t know what happened.” 

When you ask him about some of the young boxers that he has trained – Vikas Kishan, Shiva Thapa, Devendro Singh – he appeared delighted. “They treat me like a teacher. “They listen to whatever I say and take it on board and I always pray to god that I get students like them.” 

India’s rise in boxing in the recent past has been well documented and Manoharan has his own theory about the continuous ascent. 

“The foundation is strong, it is better than what it used to be in the olden days. “At the youth level, there is more emphasis on coaching the kids – on teaching them various techniques and as a reason once the boxers graduate to the big time, they are more than capable of holding their own.” 

Manoharan, who coached Karnataka in 2005, though, isn’t prepared to rest on his laurels yet.  He is one man whose punch is as heavy as his words.

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