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Bronze to benefit coaches, gold fetches nothing

other Updated: Aug 27, 2013 01:54 IST
Navneet Singh

Chief national boxing coach Gurbux Singh Sandhu and CA Kutappa, assistance coach in the national camp, are likely to get cash incentives for guiding Vijender Singh to the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

The sports ministry's move should end the controversy over who should be given the incentive as Jagdish Singh, Vijender's coach in his formative years, had also staked claim. When the race to grab the amount snowballed into a major controversy, the ministry had closed the file.

As per the ministry guidelines, coaches whose trainees win medals in international meets will get cash incentives worth half the amount awarded to the athlete. The ministry had awarded Rs 20 lakh to Vijender and the amount due to the coaches comes to Rs 10 lakh.

"We have moved the file again and the coaches should get their dues as soon as possible," a senior Sports Authority of India (SAI) official said. As per guidelines, a coach associated with a player for 240 days prior to the event is eligible for the award. Since Sandhu and Kutappa were in the camp to prepare Vijender for Beijing, their names have been recommended, the SAI official said.

Sandhu, who recently retired from SAI, was elated. "It's good the government has decided on the long pending case," he said.

Initially, Jagdish had applied for the cash incentive, but Sandhu had contested that he was not eligible.

But no coach will get the cash incentive for Abhinav Bindra winning the men's 10m air rifle at the Beijing Games. The claim of Prof Sunny Thomas, former chief national shooting coach, has been turned down on grounds that Bindra trained in Germany and not in the national camp.