GFI is an useless organisation: Gymnastics chief coach

Last Updated 09 October 2010, 08:58 IST

One expected Ashish to hog the limelight as the boxers and shooters simply because Indians are never known for doing well in gymnastics at the international stage.
Sadly, that did not happen.

The moment of glory which should have been marked as a start of a new era for a much-neglected sport in India, however still continues to get cold shoulders from the very members of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI).

What even a layman can understand that it is great achievement to bag two medals -- after just a year of planning by the coaches and hard work by the gymnasts but unfortunately the people associated with it, cannot.

After Ashish won the first-ever gymnastics medal for India on Thursday, the GFI president J S Kandhari asked India's chief coach Vladimir Chertkov sarcastically if 'that was all he could deliver, a bronze?'

Responding to the harsh remarks by the president of the federation, Chertkov termed GFI as an 'useless organisation'.

"India need a professional federation. GFI just does not have any knowledge of the sport. It is an useless organisation," the foreign coach told PTI.

"Winning the medal was a big achievement and it was very exciting but the federation is just not trying to learn any lesson from this year's competition. What is even worse is they are not even ready to acknowledge the feat," added Chertkov.

The 52-year-old Russia-born American coach expressed his disappointment about the federation's decision not to send the Indian team for the World Championship in Rotterdam to be held from October 16-24 this year.

"India was suppose to go for the World Championship in Rotterdam but now the federation is not even sending the team. The Federation is prepared to pay the penalty, which is more expensive than sending a team.

"This could have been a good opportunity for the Indian gymnasts to qualify for the London Olympics also but they have once again set our growth back," said Chertkov.
When GFI President Khandhari was asked why the team is not being sent for the World Championship he gave a vague reply.

"Two of our players are injured and we need some particular number of players to represent at the World Championship," said Khandhari.

Meanwhile, Ashish Kumar also spoke about the importance of getting international exposure and how crucial it could have been had India got a chance to participate in the World Championship.

"Paricipation in the World Championship could have proved to be very important for us and it would have given us an opportunity to qualify for the London Olympics as well," said Ashish, adding, "I don't know the reason why we are not going."

Chertkov's contract is going to expire on November 30. hen asked if after all these negativity floating around, if he was interested in extending his contract, he said, "It is not a question of interest anymore. It has now become more of a responsibilty. Let's see if the government takes a call as they did it in case of hockey."

(Published 09 October 2010, 08:58 IST)

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