PATIALA:In a move that could give a leg-up to Indian javelin throwers’ preparation for the Jakarta Asian Games as well as mend the frayed relationship between javelin foreign coach Uwe Hohn and the Athletics Federation of India top bosses, the athletics body has given nod to rope in Australian taskmaster Rolf Ohman to assist the German in building a team as well as giving advanced training for leading throwers including Neeraj Chopra. A meeting between Hohn and the AFI bosses took place here on Wednesday, where the former maintained that he was in immediate need of an experienced hand to assist him in preparing the team before Asian Games, sources revealed to Express.
Hohn was roped in last September but the former world record holder’s training couldn’t gather steam as ace thrower Chopra opted to train in Germany under Werner Daniels. Along with Chopra’s absence, lack of an assistant coach was one of the bones of contention between the coach and the federation. Ohman was a decathlete and has experience in sprint events — something that Hohn felt could be helpful for the Indians. “Indian athletes need to improve their speed. For that, they need to take sprints and jumps training more seriously,” Uwe said.
Ohman was part of Hohn’s coaching staff in China. Hohn said Ohman has got expertise in gymnastics routines and that would be useful for recovery from injury as well as strength-building. “The routines in gymnastics can help recover from the shoulder injury. It also helps to stabilise shoulder. Moreover, it improves coordination and that’s a great help for javelin throwers,” he said. Incorporating gymnastics workout into javelin training has long been in vogue of leading throwers like Olympic champ Thomas Rohler.The plan to include the Aussie among the staff also indicates that Chopra would be asked to stay with Hohn. “He will work with Hohn,” said chief national coach Bahadur Singh.
When asked about the period of Ohman’s joining, one of the sources said it would be after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. “There is not much time before that. For the Asian Games, we can make use of him,” he said. With a dozen athletes under him, Hohn said he would like to have an exclusive team working for javelin under him. “We need good physios, conditioning experts etc. But the first preference is to buy some training equipment.”
Sources also revealed that apart from training elite athletes, Hohn will scout talents from the junior level. “He will be asked to go and scout talents from domestic events. He can even go to sprints competitions and if there is any who has got good sprinting ability as well as a penchant for throwing, he can be considered for the national camp.”
Tejaswin earns CWG berth
High-jumper Tejaswin Shankar qualified for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. The US-trained athlete cleared 2.28m to obliterate his own mark of 2.26m and in the process, breached the qualifying mark of 2.25m. Siddharth Yadav, who finished second with 2.25m, also made the cut. In women’s 10000m, Tamil Nadu’s L Surya earned a CWG berth clocking 32:23:96.