The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) chief Adille J Sumariwalla on Thursday said the standard of Indian coaches was of school and college level and that they were incapable of producing an international-level athlete.
“I can bet that Indian coaches will never be able to produce an international-level athlete as their standard is of school and college level. Their knowledge about the game is zero and they can’t even understand the kind of training methods being followed in the world,” Sumariwalla said on the sidelines of the National Inter-State Athletics here.
“If we want medals in Asian or Commonwealth Games, we need to hire foreign coaches as Indian coaches can’t live up to the expectations,” he added. Blaming the previous government for the pathetic state of athletics in the country, he said that the chances of Indians winning medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were remote.
“Though we had submitted our 2014 plan to the government in 2010 itself after Indian athletes won 12 medals at the New Delhi Games, the government did nothing,” he said, adding, “a couple of months back, we got the Belarusian coach Nikolai Snesarev. He isn’t a magician who can change the future of Indian athletes in such a short period of time.
“The facilities which we wanted four years ago have been given now. There was a lack of coordination between the government and the federation. No one paid any heed to our problems,” he alleged.
The AFI president also said that Snesarev, who had shaped the careers of athletes such as Sudha Singh, Sridharan and Kavita Raut among others, had demanded a hike in salary but the Centre refused it.
It took four years to get him back as coach again,” Sumariwalla said. “One of the joint secretaries in the sports ministry had stalled Nikolai’s appointment in 2010 and it took me four years to get the file cleared.”
Holding Indian coaches responsible for doping problems, he said the only solution to the problem was to bring a law to book these coaches. “If we don’t have such a law, nothing will change and the doping menace will continue.
Mayookha Johny qualifies
Despite Sumariwalla’s comments, young long jumper Mayookha Johny achieved the qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games at the National Inter-State Championship on Thursday.
The Kerala girl’s leap of 6.56m was 0.12 metres above the qualifying mark of 6.44m. Mayookha had her best jump in her third attempt.