India’s javelin coach Uwe Hohn sacked, months after he slammed system

German great Uwe Hohn, who was appointed in 2017 to coach javelin stars like Neeraj Chopra, has been removed from the post of Indian coach. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced his removal. The federation says it was not happy with Uwe’s performance and that two new foreign coaches will be appointed soon.

Uwe Hohn, 59, was the only player who could throw a javelin for more than 100 meters. When Neeraj Chopra won gold in the Asian and Commonwealth Games in 2018, he was his coach and then became the national javelin coach for the Tokyo Olympics.

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After reviewing the performance of the coaches and players in the 2-day Executive Council meeting, AFI President Adil Sumariwala said that Uwe is being removed. However, Germany’s biomechanical expert Klaus Bartonij, who coached Neeraj in the Tokyo Olympics, will continue in his post. Sumariwala said that we are going to appoint two new coaches. We are replacing Uwe Han because we are not happy with his performance.

At the same time, AFI Planning Commission Chief Lalit K Bhanot said that javelin throwers like Neeraj Chopra, Shivpal Singh and Annu Rani did not want to train with Uwe. He said that he would continue to coach as a Klaus expert. It is not easy to get a good coach, but we are trying our best to have at least one good coach. Sumariwala said that we are also looking for foreign coach for shot put athlete Tajinderpal Singh Toor.

Neeraj trained with Klaus before the Tokyo Olympics, but he credits Uwe Hohn for coaching two big medals. After winning the Olympic gold, Neeraj had said that the time I spent with coach Uwe, I believe that he was good and I respect him. In 2018 I won gold in Commonwealth and Asian Games. I think Uwe’s training style and technique was a little different. Later, when I trained with Klaus, I felt that his training plan suited me.

Didn’t even get enough supplements
In June ahead of the Olympics, Uwe Hohn said about SAI and the AFI that these people were difficult to work with and criticized preparations for the Olympics. Talking to the Indian Express, Uwe had said that I thought I could change some things, but it is probably very difficult with these people in SAI or AFI. I don’t know whether there is lack of information or ignorance. Apart from camps and competitions, even when we used to ask for supplements for our players through our nutritionists, we still don’t get the right stuff. Not even for the top contenders for the medals selected by the Sports Ministry. If we got something, we would be happy.

Was also accused of blackmailing
Uwe Hohn also blamed the authorities for allegedly going back on his contract. He had alleged that SAI and AFI had “blackmailed” him to accept the contract. Otherwise they are not paid. Uwe had said that he had asked for a salary increase after his coaching review in April. But like other promises, this promise also proved to be hollow. However, both the institutions had rejected the allegation.

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