PATIALA: The Athletics Federation of India's (AFI) plan to send three javelin throwers to Germany for training ahead of the Asian Championship has hit a roadblock. Two of the three have intimated the federation their reservations on training abroad just ahead of the event. The Asian Championship will be held in Bhubaneswar from July 6-9.
The AFI had planned to send Neeraj Chopra, Devender Singh Kang and Annu Rani to Germany next week, where newly-appointed coach Uwe Hohn was supposed to take over the training. However, Devender and Annu have expressed concerns over travelling to Germany for a short duration before the continental event. They argue that there is not enough time to even acclimatise with German conditions.
“We haven't got enough time for acclimatisation, let alone training. It takes a minimum of one week to get used to the conditions. And then we have to adjust to Indian conditions on return. The ideal proposition would be to train in India till the Asian Championship. The Germany trip can be undertaken later,” one of the throwers said.
Sources close to the athletes also said that breaking the ongoing routine would be damaging for their career. “We are following a definite pattern. We would certainly like to continue with it than change it under another coach.”
However, Neeraj, it's learnt, is open to the Germany trip, as he is training without a coach at the moment, after Australian Garry Calvert left for China. The other two are being trained by Indian Army coach Kashinath Naik.
Kazakh trip planned
The AFI also has plans to send select athletes to a series of events in Kazakhstan before the Asian Championship. Acknowledging this, AFI secretary CK Valson said, “We are planning a Kazakh trip because the competition will be good and expenditures will be affordable.”
But sources said that some of the athletes, including a few prominent sprinters, have expressed displeasure over this, saying that they don't have time for a foreign sojourn before the continental event.
Notice for coaches
The recent dope fiasco involving hurdler Jithin Paul has caught the AFI off guard. Though the AFI bosses were worried by the seizure of meldonium from the NIS hostel room used by the athlete, they were more alarmed about the delay in getting communication from the camp in charges about the NADA raid and the seizure. It's reliably learnt that the chief coach Bahadur Singh and deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair were issued showcause notices by the Federation.
"We got to know about the issue only after NADA served us a missive. Being the in-charges of the camp the two should have informed us about the development just after it had happened. That's a major blot. We have served notices asking the reason and are awaiting a reply," said an AFI official. It's also learnt that 4x400m relay coach Muhammed Kunji was also given a showcause notice.