A delegation of 55 Indian coaches from various disciplines is on a trip to Cuba to explore ways of enhancing performance of Indian sportsmen as Indian boxers trained by a Cuban coach did well in recent international events.
Coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez, who has been with the Indian pugilists since the early 90s, has played a crucial role in their success at the recent Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. Vijender Singh also became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal (bronze) under Fernandez's coaching stint. At the Delhi Games, Indian boxers won four bronze and three gold while in the Asiad in China, seven boxers made it to the semi-finals. The delegation of coaches divided into two groups - one for high performance coaches and the other to spread sports at the community level - will stay for six weeks in Cuba to learn tricks that could make India a sports power, a Cuban government statement quoted by the Prensa Latina news agency said.
Acknowledging Indian boxers talent, the statement said: "India is already becoming a boxing power to reckon with thanks to the contribution of the Cuban boxing coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez and a region in Haryana has been nicknamed the "Little Cuba" because of the important pool of boxers coming from that area."