Indian javelin throwers compelled to go long distance for coach’s feedback
By Shan AS | Express News Service | Published: 04th August 2017 08:13 AM |
KOCHI: Even as the government forms task forces to ensure medals at Olympic Games that have not even been awarded yet, India’s javelin throwers are having to resort to the most tragicomic way of training at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Shorn of their coaches who were denied permission to travel to London, the javelin throwers are videotaping their training sessions and sending them to their coaches back in India. The latter then analyse it and send their feedback to London. Jugaad at its finest!
The irony is that the three javelin throwers are some of India’s best bets at the championship. There is Neeraj Chopra, the reigning World junior champion. Davinder Singh Kang is ranked 17th, while Annu Rani was counted 27th. “A minor error can cost the athlete. For a javelin thrower, it would be difficult to manage on his own for more than two to three days,” said Kashinath Naik, coach of Annu and Davinder.
Naik revealed that Annu’s training videos were being sent to him regularly and he gave his suggestions after watching them. “But it’s tough to guide them through videos. Physical presence is something that can’t be replaced,” he said. While 13 support staff were chosen to accompany the side, not even a single javelin coach was taken along. AFI officials say that “deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair will oversee the training”. But that claim is absurd in light of the fact that Nair is in for his clerical prowess rather than his coaching acumen.
Former national coach and Neeraj’s mentor, Garry Calvert said that not sending a javelin coach with the team was a bad judgement by the AFI. “When you have three athletes in the same event, it is proper high performance management to send a specialist coach. The last 14 days are critical before an event. I was with Neeraj throughout the last year and was able to identify and eliminate his mistakes. And that reflected in the results too. Annu and Davinder are coached by Naik and he also understands Neeraj. He should have been there,” Garry said.