Neeraj Chopra & His Coach Blame SAI For Delaying Tokyo Preparation
File photo of Neeraj Chopra.
File photo of Neeraj Chopra.(Photo: Reuters)

Neeraj Chopra & His Coach Blame SAI For Delaying Tokyo Preparation

Star athlete Neeraj Chopra’s coach Uwe Hohn has blamed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for being unprofessional and jeopardising the training and preparation of the javelin thrower.

In an email to The Sunday Express, the German coach pointed out that the delay in procuring equipment, insufficient support staff, poor diet and planning is becoming a cause of concern for Neeraj ahead of the World Championships and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“Because of the very bad support of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), we need help from people or companies who like to help ASAP because with every week, bit by bit, we lose a chance to reach our high goals.”
Uwe Hohn

Meanwhile, Neeraj has also highlighted the same cause of concern as his coach. Neeraj, who has approached the government to sanction a tour abroad where he will train for up to three months, is yet to get clearance. The numerous felicitation programmes in India is one of the main reasons why Neeraj wants to go abroad for training. But the delay in the workflow for an approval is actually becoming a headache for Neeraj and coach Hohn.

“Our plan to go abroad for training have been getting delayed. That’s one of the reasons why the coach made those comments. We hope that will be done as quickly as possible so that I go out and focus on training for two-three months. Right now, training is okay but there are a lot of programmes happening, which I have to attend. It hampers my training.”
Neeraj Chopra to ANI

Speaking about Hohn’s comment, Neeraj said that cultural differences in India and Germany led to his coach making such a statement.

“My coach, Uwe Hohn is from Germany, so the sports system there is different from what we have here (in India). Our country is very big so it takes time for things to happen. Sab aaram aaram se hota hai.”
Neeraj Chopra

In his email, Hohn has mentioned that his repeated demands for a recovery system and top-quality javelins have not been met.

“I (Hohn) contacted two javelin companies and sent my list of equipment to an office in Patiala. But when the company didn’t receive any order I checked last week and found out that this guy hadn’t even opened the mail I sent to him. That’s the way SAI is working.”
Uwe Hohn

Apart from this, Hohn’s list of complaints include, lack of proper scheduling and planning, delayed training camps and lack of basic support for recovery management.

Hohn, who is the only thrower in the history of the sport to hurl the javelin to 100 metres, trains Chopra and the country’s other elite javelin throwers at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala.

Neeraj had a great 2018 when he bagged gold in both Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, becoming the first javelin thrower from India to do so. With less than two years to go for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships next year, 2019 will be a crucial year for training for India’s star athlete.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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