NEW DELHI: Asiad gold-winning shot-putter Bahadur Singh Chouhan’s 24-year long reign as the head coach of the Indian athletics has finally come to an end. He was denied a contract extension by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), TOI has learnt.
Bahadur, 74, probably the longest-serving head coach associated with an Olympic discipline in India, will, however, be retained in an “advisory” role by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) due to his vast coaching experience with the Indian athletics, AFI president Adille Sumariwala informed.
In a statement to TOI, SAI stated: “Bahadur Singh’s contract has not been renewed by the Empanelment Committee of coaches, in accordance with the sports ministry’s guidelines with the upper age for employment of coaches and support staff fixed at 70 for national camps. The same committee has extended the contract of 13 others as recommended by AFI.”
However, when asked about the coach of India’s relay teams, Galina Bukharina of Russia, SAI informed that the rule applied to the Indian coaches.
It’s been learnt that deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair has emerged as the front-runner to replace Bahadur.
Sources said SAI faced resistance from AFI officials, who insisted on offering another extension to Bahadur.
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