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With 2020 Tokyo Olympics in mind, India appoint foreign coaches in athletics

Australia’s Dave Smith will take charge of India’s national race walking team, while Galina P Bukharina, a former head coach of Texas State track and field, will oversee the national 400-metre squad, keeping in mind 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

other sports Updated: Apr 07, 2017 00:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
2020 Tokyo Olympics,Dave Smith,Galina P Bukharina
The appointment of foreign coaches have been made until 2020 Tokyo Olympics and they’ll subject to performance review annually. ((Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO))

Keeping in view the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the sports ministry has approved Athletics Federation of India (AFI) proposal to appoint two foreign experts—one each in race walking and 400-metre sprint.

Australian Dave Smith will take charge of the national race walking team currently training in Bangalore, while Galina P Bukharina, a former head coach of Texas State track and field will oversee the national 400-metre squad training at Patiala.

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Smith will take over from Russian expert Alexander Artsybashev whose contract was till March. Artsybashev was coach of the national team that participated in the Rio Olympic Games. Of the five race walkers, Manish Rawat finished 13th in the men’s 20km race, others including Asian Games silver medalist Khushbir Kaur was unimpressive. The AFI, it is learnt, wasn’t impressed with the overall results.

After the Rio Olympic Games, the ministry was also not keen to renew contract of controversial Ukrainian sprint coach Yuri Ogorodnik. Despite clocking impressive time in the domestic meets, the national relay teams failed to progress beyond first round in Rio. The men’s team was disqualified due to wrong baton exchange in the first round, while the women’s team wasn’t able to qualify for the next round.

The ministry has also approved the appointment of two masseur--- Dmitry Kislev and Elmira Kisleva. Both are from Russia. The contract of all four foreign experts is till 2020, but their performance will be reviewed annually.

First Published: Apr 06, 2017 18:17 IST