AFI mulling on hiring dedicated coaches

AFI mulling on hiring dedicated coaches

Arpinder Singh

Top Indian athletes like Arpinder Singh and Tejinder Singh Toor are all set to get dedicated coaches to help them prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Arpinder had clinched the gold in the Asian Games at Jakarta with a jump of 16.77M before creating history by becoming the first Indian to win a bronze medal (16.59) in the IAAF Continental Cup in September. Toor, currently the brightest Indian shot putter, had won gold at the 2018 Asian Games with a throw of 20.75m, breaking the Games record and the national record.

“The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) believes the current lot is one of the brightest set of athletes and hold the promise of winning a medal at Tokyo Olympics. They have done well at the Asian Games but we have to improve our performance at the Olympics as well. That is why we wanted to provide them every facility and best of preparations from our end. The dedicated coaches is a step towards that,” an AFI source told DH.

“Currently we are focussing on getting coaches for throws and jumps events.”

While for 25-year-old Arpinder, AFI are mulling to get a coach from either Italy or Cuba, for Toor the attempts are to rope in a coach from either New Zealand or Poland. “In case a coach cannot come here, AFI is willing to make arrangements to ensure they travel and train with the coach. The talks with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) are going on and we have given our suggestions. We want them as early as possible to help our athletes train for the Tokyo Games.”

Recently, AFI decided that national jump coach from Romania, Bedros Bedrosian, will move to teenage long-jump Sreeshankar Murali’s hometown in Palakkad, Kerala to ensure his studies are not affected due to training. The coach will also train another long jumper Neena Varakil.

Meanwhile, the national camps are already underway with Indian athletes looking to impress at the Asian Championships in 2019. The AFI also confirmed that quartermiler Hima Das will be joining the national camp at Patiala by this week.