AFI Ends Association with National Javelin Coach Uwe Hohn

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On Monday, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) sacked national javelin coach Uwe Hohn as the federation was not satisfied with his performance as a coach. The 59-year old national coach was hired to coach javelin star Neeraj Chopra back in 2017. He was Neeraj’s coach at the time of the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018 where Neeraj won two gold medals. In fact, the German world record holder remained in his position as the chief coach of the Indian javelin throwers for the Tokyo Olympics this year.

After reviewing the performances of the athletes and the coaches at the tow[-day executive council meeting, AFI president Adille Sumariwalla announced, “We are bringing two more coaches and we are changing Uwe Hohn as we are not happy with his performance. We are looking for a foreign coach for Toor (shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor).” ”We are doing what we have to do. Those who think that analysis is not happening and action is not being taken… everything is being done,” he continued.

He also added that Klaus Bartonietz, the biomechanical expert who worked with Neeraj Chopra for the Tokyo Olympics will continue his work with the javelin star. In November 2017, Hohn was initially selected for the post of chief coach for one year to guide Olympics star Neeraj Chopra and two other Olympians Shivpal Singh and Annu Rani.

The planning commission chief of AFI Lalit K Bhanot further commented that the javelin throwers did not want to train with the chief coach. After the Tokyo games, Chopra said, “The time I spent with coach Hohn, I believe, was good and I respect him. In that year (2018), I won gold at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I thought that his (Hohn’s) training style and technique were a bit different. Later, when I trained with Klaus, I felt his training plan suited me.”

However, in June, Hohn criticized both the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and AFI. Talking about Indian Olympic preparation, he added, “When I came here, I thought I could change something but it’s probably too difficult with these people at SAI or AFI.”      

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