Forced to quit India, Laszlo does it for Iran | other | Hindustan Times
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Forced to quit India, Laszlo does it for Iran

other Updated: Nov 13, 2010 23:35 IST
Ajai Masand

Laszlo Scuzsak's love for shooting and Indian marksman brought him to India. A difficult, almost tumultuous experience with the Indian system forced him to quit in 2009 and move to Iran.

He was perhaps one of the most loved coaches and shooters adored him for his work ethos, not to forget his sane advice, which, incidentally, was not part of his contract!

His loss has turned out to be Iran's gain, as the women's team from the Islamic republic clinched silver in the women's 10m air rifle event, even giving giants China a run for their money at the Aoti Complex on Saturday.

The pleasing smile and the desire to coach the Indian team despite the upheaval is still intact. "I may be training Iran but my heart still beats for India. Perhaps, if the system changes, I am willing to come back," says the burly Hungarian coach who trained Indian rifle marksmen for two years before the Beijing Olympic Games and gave the country a bunch of talented marksmen.

"I followed Gagan Narang and Abhinav Bindra's performances at the Commonwealth Games. The two are in a different league. One is a world record holder and the other an Olympic champion," he said.

Narang's silver-medal performance in 10m air rifle and the women's team's unimpressive performance in the same category brought a cheeky smile on the coach's face, but he was quick to hide it. "For the Indians, this is a bit of an after-season. Building the tempo immediately after you have been through the rigours of the Commonwealth Games is not easy.

The Indians have still given a commendable performance," says the coach.

For now, Laszlo is happy building a team from scratch and helping it win honours in major international events. "With this young bunch, I want to beat the world. The women's team won the silver today, and I have no shame in conceding defeat to China. We lost by just two points," he said, adding, I will give it my best shot to ensure Iran does well at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

On India's growing clout in the sport, he point out that the country could do with some professionalism. "Inexperienced people in the selection process are marring the sport.

Many things need to be put in order. And many people around shooting, who don't deserve to be there, should be pushed out.

"I'm happy the Iran shooting body has given me the freedom to pick and choose the team, which was not the case in India. There is no interference on any count and I am enjoying the status."

Are the Indian officials listening?