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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Pay dispute causes rift between AFI, foreign javelin coach Uwe Hohn

Differences have surfaced between foreign javelin coach Uwe Hohn, which could lead to complications and him even quitting after the Commonwealth Games 2018.

other-sports Updated: Mar 07, 2018 23:41 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Uwe Hohn, who has represented Germany in the past, is now coaching Indian javelin throwers and involved in a pay dispute with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
Uwe Hohn, who has represented Germany in the past, is now coaching Indian javelin throwers and involved in a pay dispute with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). (Getty Images)

Differences have surfaced between foreign coach Uwe Hohn, who is overseeing the national javelin throw camp at the National Institute of Sports, and Athletics Federation of India (AFI), with the German alleging that the federation has not kept its word on bonus and pay hike.

According to the AFI, the foreign expert should show results before asking for a salary hike. The differences could lead to complications with Hohn hinting at quitting. The former world record holder had joined the national camp in October last and has a contract till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

According to CK Valson AFI secretary-general, Hohn’s demands have gone up. ‘’We are supporting him but don’t know why he is cribbing after just six months into his contract. He has no results to show,’’ he said.

Top thrower Neeraj Chopra had snubbed the foreign coach and is training in Germany, which hasn’t gone down well with Hohn. Even top woman thrower Anu Rani is training with her personal coach Kashinath Naik.

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Another leading thrower Davinder Singh Kang is out of the camp after testing positive, and that seems to have added to Hohn’s woes.

Hohn was expecting upcoming thrower from Haryana Sahil Silwal to cross the 80m mark, but he could only manage 73.64m for a fifth place in the ongoing Federation Cup.

Valson said the federation can’t force top athletes to train under Hohn. ‘’At the end of the day we are looking for good results. If someone has a plan, it’s ok with us. We don’t know why he is raising these issues now; he should have done so at the time of signing the contract,’’ he added.

Australian expert Garry Calvert had joined the national camp in February 2016, but after Neeraj claimed gold with a world mark of 86.48m at the 2016 junior global meet in Poland, Calvert asked for a pay hike. The request was turned down and he quit in April last.

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Hohn was supposed to join the national camp in July ahead of the World Athletics Championships, but joined in October.

In the absence of a throwing coach for six months, training was disrupted. While Neeraj managed to travel to Germany with the help of sponsors, the others weren’t.

Hohn said his salary isn’t enough. According to a national-level coach, Hohn is getting $7,500 per month. “It’s just about meeting my basic needs. Coaches at the global level are getting more. I have requested the federation to hike my salary by $5,000 per month but there is no response,’’ said Hohn.

He also said the AFI isn’t providing training equipment. ‘’Athletes are only doing basic training with javelin. There should be cross-training also, but without equipment it’s not possible,’’ he added.

Upset with the system, Hohn might quit soon. ‘’Let’s see how things work out after the Commonwealth Games (in April),’’ he said.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 23:26 IST

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