CHENNAI: After a gap of almost a year, foreign jump coach Bedros Bedrosian has returned to India and joined the national camp in Thiruvananthapuram, it has been learnt. Bedros had resigned in controversial circumstances shortly after the Asian Games last year when he was asked to move to Palakkad to train M Sreeshankar among other jumpers. It is understood that the Romanian quit as he was not pleased with facilities in Palakkad.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had been looking to replace the 64-year-old since and with the Olympics looming, they were desperate to get a foreign coach. AFI has confirmed that he has been engaged again. It is learnt that Sports Ministry had reservations early on and this caused a delay.
AFI president Adille Sumariwalla dismissed controversies that led to Bedros’ exit. “There was some miscommunication (about lack of facilities) between the coach and the AFI at that time and after he cleared his side of the story we engaged him,” he told this daily. Bedros will be part of the current camp.
“There was not much time as the Olympics is almost here. We wanted to have a good coach until the Olympics. As of now, he will be here till Tokyo. He will be looking after long jump and triple jump. After that, based on results, we will take a call. He will also be looking at future talent,” AFI secretary CK Valson told this daily.
Some of the athletes like Arpinder Singh and Neena Varakil were not keen on training under Bedros after the Asian Games. Even Sreeshankar had said in the past that he is more comfortable training under his personal coach and father S Murali. But the AFI believes events like jumps are highly technical and inputs of someone like Bedros can be of advantage in events like Olympics. While newly-appointed high-performance director Volker Herrmann is also doing his part, he has to look at the overall development of athletes in all disciplines. However, unlike last time, the AFI may not force any athlete to train under Bedros.
Annu, Suresh win
Annu Rani won the women’s javelin event at the 59th National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi, with a throw of 58.60m. In men’s 10,000m, ONGC’s Suresh Kumar bagged gold with an effort of 29.41.25s. Jinson Johnson (AFI) and Ajay Kumar Saroj (Railways) each won their men’s 1,500m heats.