CHENNAI: THE Boxing Federation of India has acquired the services of Sweden’s Santiago Nieva as the foreign coach for the men’s national team. A member of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) coaches commission, Nieva joins the team with years of experience behind him.
Nieva was associated with the Sweden national team until recently. Having served them for eight years, he had walked away from the post after the Rio Olympics. As of now, he has been handed a short-term stint, until the World Championships later this year (August-September).
National women’s chief coach GS Sandhu welcomed his recruitment and revealed that Nieva has actively been in touch with him. “He has been in touch with me for the last few days. He wanted to get the basic idea of how the system is here,” Sandhu told Express from New Delhi.
“Every coach should be given a fair chance. You can’t expect results overnight. He will come up with his unique ideas and I’m sure he can do well if he is given the right support,” he added.
Nieva is expected to arrive on Monday and begin his stint in Patiala, where one of the two national camps is currently being held. The other camp is being held in Aurangabad.
Senior boxer Manoj Kumar, who is part of the Patiala camp, is happy with the appointment. “The BFI has been actively trying the boost the sport. It will be good to have him,” he remarked.
A former bantamweight/featherweight pugilist during his youthful days, Nieva represented Argentina at 1997 World Cup. The 42-year-old’s appointment comes just days before the trials for next month’s Asian Championships.
Ever since the highly-renowned BI Fernandez stepped aside as India foreign coach due to unforeseen circumstances in 2014, the sport has faced multiple knockbacks.
The Cuban, who revolutionised India boxing during his long stint, was banned for protesting in the L Sarita Devi case during the 2014 Asian Games.