Indian Olympic Association’s selection conundrum has continued ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the parents, personal coaches and physiotherapists of the players have been included in the official list. While the IOA has fulfilled every wish of a few stars, others have been left without the services of any coach. The 2016 Rio Games silver medallist PV Sindhu is among the few, who will have the services of both her coach and physiotherapist – Park Tae Sang and Evangline Baddam respectively. Both Sang and Baddam have been named in the Indian contingent in an official capacity. On the other hand, B Sai Praneeth’s coach Agus Dwi Santoso has been named as extra official. Earlier, chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand had withdrawn his name to accommodate Santoso.
Meanwhile, India’s women’s doubles players – Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina – will not have any coach in Tokyo with them according to a report in the Times of India. The name of India’s chief foreign air pistol coach Pavel Smirnov is also missing from the list. Pistol coach Jaspal Rana was also not mentioned in the list. The report further claims that Smirnov’s name was removed from the list to accommodate Ronak Pandit, who coaches world number 2 Manu Bhaker.
Fencer Bhavani Devi’s mother C Sundhararaman Ramani and Manika Batra’s coach-cum-practice partner Sanmay Paranjape have been included as extra officials. Bhavani’s coach and psychologist – Nicola Zanotti and Angelo Carnemolla respectively will also travel to Tokyo in official capacities.
In boxing, IOA has named six-time world champion Mary Kom’s coach Chhote Lal Yadav in the list but Amit Panghal’s coach Anil Dhankar has been excluded. However, Panghal’s physio Rohit Kashyap will travel to Japan as part of the Indian contingent.
Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat’s coach Akos Woller will travel to Tokyo with her. Other than Woller, Bajrang Punia’s coach Shako Bentinidis, Ravi Dahiya’s coach Kamal Malikov and Deepak Punia’s coach Murad Gaidarov have been also included in the wrestling team.
The biggest absentee from the list was race walking coach Gurmeet Singh. He coaches 20km race walkers Sandeep Punia and Priyanka Goswami.
IOA has stirred a controversy by including the name of javelin throw foreign coach Uwe Hohn. Last month, ace Indian javelin throwers Shivpal Yadav and Annu Rani had accused Hohn of coaching foreign athletes during overseas tours. The duo also stopped training under Hohn.