India hoping to build on Asian Youth Athletics 2022 success with help of foreign coaches, says AFI chief Sumariwalla

Amit Chaudhary (boys’ 1500m), Akash Yadav (boys’ shot put), Ashakiran Barla (girls’ 800m), and Atul (boys’ discus throw) won gold medals in individual events while India came first in girls’ and boys’ medley relay races — making it six gold medals in all.

India finished first with 24 medals whiles the Chinese Taipei team was second with six gold, one silver, and two bronze medals.

Lakshadweep’s Mubssina Mohammed won two silver medals — in girls’ long jump and in girls’ heptathlon — missing out on a gold in the latter as she finished just seven points behind Alina Chistyakova of Kazakhstan, who had 4737 points.

Madhya Pradesh’s Ekta Dey, who shifted to steeplechase from 1500m very recently on the advice of her coaches, won a silver medal in the Girls’ 2000m steeplechase on Sunday.

With this performance, India, who have finished second in the 2019 edition held in Hong Kong, became the second-most successful nation in the Asian Youth Athletics Championship behind China. Around 400 athletes and staff from 30 Asian Countries competed in 40 events — 20 for boys and 20 for girls — at the Al Kuwait Kaifan Stadium in Kuwait City.

Ashakiran Barla of Jharkhand — who did not have electricity in her house when she started participating in athletics, but now have it as officials reacted to her success in athletics — was the lone Indian girl to win a gold medal in 800m.

“It was a great experience for me as I have learned a lot during the camp which was held before the Asian Championship. I had lost my father a few years back and our family survives on whatever my mother earns through farming. I just want to do my best and help her,” said Ashakiran.

Sumariwalla said they have already set in motion a plan to provide foreign expert coaching to the junior and youth athletes and are in negotiations with some coaches.

Sumariwalla said the reason for this shift in approach is that when young athletes come to the senior level, they come with small mistakes in technique and it takes a lot of effort to unlearn them.

“We are now focusing on the junior athletes as our next step. We are trying to bring foreign coaches at this stage otherwise, many times when these coaches go to the top level, the coaches have to make them unlearn many things in their technique,” he added.

“Negotiations are going on with some coaches but not many are ready to stay in India for the entire year. They want to come on short stints of a few months, but we are trying to get the best possible coaching,” said Sumariwalla during an virtual interaction on Monday.

He said as they did for senior athletes around 10 years back, they have identified javelin throw, race walks and middle and long-distance running as focus areas for junior and youth athletes.

The other Indian athletes that won medals in the Asian Youth Athletics Championships are Isha Jadhav (silver, Girls’ 400m), Arjun (silver, Boys’ javelin throw), Sabita Toppo (silver, Girls’ 100m hurdles), Mohammad Aman (silver, Boys’ hammer throw), Deepika (silver, Girls’ javelin throw), Sunita Devi (silver, Girls’ 3000m), Servan K C (silver, Boys’ discus throw), Vanshika Ghanghas (silver, Girls’ pole vault) and Ekta Dey (silver, Girls’ 2000m steeplechase).

The bronze medals were won by Kuldeep Kumar (Boys’ pole vault), Siddarth Chaudhary (Boys’ shot put), Nikita Kumari (Girls’ discus throw), Anushka Kumbah (Girls’ 400m), Murad Sirman (Boys’ 400m hurdles) and Divyasri (Girls’ triple jump).

The 2022 Asian Youth Athletics Championships, which encompassed the fourth edition of the Asian U18 Athletics Championship, was the fourth edition of the biennial, continental athletics competition for Asian athletes aged 15 to 17.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

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