As the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) looks forward to the 2017 season, it plans to get rid of foreign experts who haven’t delivered.
With the Asian Championships (at home) and World Championships slated for next year, and the disappointing performance at the Rio Olympic Games, the AFI is set to axe Ukrainian sprinting coach Dmitry Vinaykin.
Vinaykin failed to help top sprinters, including the women runners, achieve the Rio qualification mark in the 4x100m relay. Apparently, that was the final nail in the coffin. “He doesn’t fit in our scheme of things,” national coach Bahadur Singh told HT on not renewing Vinaykin’s contract.
In the build-up to Rio, Vinaykin wasn’t able to guide the relay team to gold in a low-key event like the South Asian Federation Games in February. Despite the setback, the AFI continued to have faith in him, hoping he would help an ordinary bunch of sprinters dominate in the Olympic qualification events. The Ukrainian failed in his attempts.
Vinaykin was behind India’s success at 2010 Commonwealth Games though, with the men’s 4x100m relay team winning bronze with a time of 38.89 seconds. Instead of cementing their position at the international level, the top sprinters’ performance waned.
After the relay team failed to qualify for the 2012 London Games, Vinaykin quit the national camp in 2013.
Despite this, he was reappointed in 2014. The second stint was a flop as well.
The relay team failed to qualify for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, and followed it up with an unimpressive show in 2015.
Besides, Vinaykin, recovery expert Andre Fillimonua will also be axed. He was hired for $8500 (R5.7 lakh) per month. Associated with the core group of athletes preparing for the 4x400m relay, the federation isn’t satisfied with his work.
Controversial sprinting coach Yuri Ogorodonik of Ukraine is expected to continue. “We want our relay team to do well in the world meet, so we need Yuri’s support,” said an AFI official.
Russia’s race walk coach Alexander Artsybashev too has been spared. The AFI fielded as many as five walkers at Rio but only Manish Kumar finished 13th.