Tokyo Olympics 2021: Bhavani’s mother, Manika’s ‘personal coach’ in Tokyo list; Sai Praneeth’s Indonesian coach becomes ‘extra official’ | Tokyo Olympics News

Tokyo Olympics 2021: Bhavani’s mother, Manika’s ‘personal coach’ in Tokyo list; Sai Praneeth’s Indonesian coach becomes ‘extra official’ | Tokyo Olympics News


NEW DELHI: Tokyo-bound fencer, CA Bhavani Devi, wouldn’t be looking too far for motivation when it comes to performing at her maiden Olympic Games. Her mother will accompany her as the ‘team manager’. Similarly, table tennis player Manika Batra will also have her ‘personal coach’ for guidance during her training sessions and competition matches in Tokyo.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has named Bhavani’s mother, C A Sundhararaman Ramani, in the four-member fencing contingent, while Manika’s coach-cum-practice partner, Pune-based Sanmay Paranjape, has been accommodated in the Tokyo-bound officials’ list as the star’s personal coach. In the six-member TT squad, which includes men’s singles players G Sathiyan and Achanta Sharath Kamal (also pairing up with Manika in the mixed doubles), only Manika has been accorded this privilege. In March 2019, Manika had described Paranjape as her ‘practice partner’.
Both Ramani and Paranjape will be counted as ‘extra officials’, which means they will travel to Tokyo ‘at no cost to government’ but their expenses will be borne by the IOA. They will be staying at a hotel outside the Athletes Village. It’s been learned from sources that an office-bearer of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has sought clarification from the IOA about Paranjape’s nature of work as ‘P’ category coach.
Ramani has been accredited as P-TAP (Personal-Training Assist Programme), which will enable her to visit Bhavani at the practice/training hall and competition venue to witness her matches from the spectators’ gallery. Her accreditation won’t allow her to stay inside the Village in an official capacity or visit the dining area for athletes. It was learned that Bhavani had requested the IOA to accommodate her mother’s name in the contingent list. Bhavani’s coach Nicola Zanotti and sports psychologist Angelo Carnemolla will travel in official capacities.
During the London Olympics, tennis star Sania Mirza’s mother, Naseema, had travelled with the five-member contingent as the team manager. At the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, after badminton ace Saina Nehwal had threatened to pull out of the event following the denial of permission to her father Harvir Singh to stay inside the Village, the IOA had formulated a ‘no-parents’ policy for the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. However, for the Tokyo Olympics, the IOA seems to have put the policy on the backburner.
PV Sindhu – the country’s biggest medal hopes at the Games – had both her wishes fulfilled after her Korean coach, Park Tae Sang, and physiotherapist Evangline Baddam were named in the contingent in the official capacity. However, this resulted in B Sai Praneeth’s coach, Indonesian Agus Dwi Santoso, relegated to the P-TAP accreditation as an extra official, with no access to Praneeth at the Village. Santoso will attend to his ward only at training sessions and coach him from the stands during his competition matches. A week ago, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand had opted out of the badminton contingent to create space for Santoso. Gopichand wouldn’t have known that Santoso would be accommodated in the contingent this way.
In tennis, the women’s doubles pair of Sania and Ankita Raina will be without the services of any coach. Zeeshan Ali’s name is missing from the list. Similarly, in shooting, the names of chief foreign air pistol coach, Pavel Smirnov, and pistol coach Jaspal Rana have found no mention. It’s been learned that Smirnov’s name was struck off to accommodate coaches Ronak Pandit (coaching Manu Bhaker) and Samresh Jung. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) had sent the names of seven coaches and, according to the IOA, all have been accommodated. Of late, Rana hadn’t been training any Tokyo-bound pistol shooters and didn’t travel to Zagreb, Croatia on an 80-day Olympic exposure trip.
As reported by TOI, six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom’s personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav has been named in the list, but Amit Panghal’s coach Anil Dhankar has been ignored. However, Panghal’s physio Rohit Kashyap has made the list. To accommodate Chhote Lal, physio Aayush Yekhande, whose name was earlier included in the official capacity, has been relegated as extra official.
In wrestling, all four personal foreign coaches of three men’s freestyle wrestlers and woman grappler Vinesh Phogat have been named in the contingent. These include Bajrang Punia’s coach Shako Bentinidis, Akos Woller (Vinesh Phogat), Kamal Malikov (Ravi Dahiya) and Murad Gaidarov (Deepak Punia). In the latest change to the wrestling officials contingent, physiotherapist Brajesh Kumar’s name has been added to the list as an extra official. The vacancy came up after it’s been learned that Woller received the Hungarian visa to travel to Tokyo and will come to the Japanese capital during Vinesh’s bouts before flying back to Budapest after the Games.
In athletics, despite his outburst against the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and Sports Authority of India (SAI), javelin throw foreign coach Uwe Hohn’s name has been included in the list, despite the fact that both Tokyo-bound Shivpal Yadav and Annu Rani have stopped training under the German. However, the biggest surprise was the omission of race walking coach, Gurmeet Singh, who coaches Tokyo-bound 20km race walkers Sandeep Punia and Priyanka Goswami. On Sunday, Punia had tweeted from his official twitter handle, thanking the AFI for including Gurmeet’s name in the official list. But it didn’t finally happen.





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