AFI hires additional foreign coaches for javelin throw; Hohn to focus on Neeraj Chopra

German legend Uwe Hohn, currently with Neeraj Chopra in South Africa, would be concentrating solely on the youngster while Dr. Klaus Bartonietz would be assisting occasionally.

Uwe Hohn will now exclusively train javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

With Tokyo Olympics and a medal from Neeraj Chopra on the radar, the Athletics Federation of India has gone for additional staff to train the Indian athletes. Dr. Klaus Bartonietz, a German biomechanical expert has been brought on board for the same with the Sports Authority of India on Friday officially clearing the recommendation.

German legend Uwe Hohn, currently with Chopra in South Africa, would be concentrating solely on the youngster while Bartonietz would be assisting occasionally. The latter, however, would be mainly concentrating on the other throwers at home.

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“For us, the brightest and biggest hope for an Olympic medal is Neeraj and he would continue training with Hohn. But the other athletes, specially the juniors, are also coming up really well and we cannot let them suffer. At the same time, Hohn looking at all the trainees would also affect Neeraj's training. With the additional staff, he would be solely training Neeraj now and travelling with him and all the major events across the world while Bartonietz would be working with the rest here,” AFI secretary general C.K. Valson told Sportstar.

SAI has also cleared Valerii Satshuk for the 4x400m relay team and recalled recovery expert Andrei Filimonau. Satshuk has been associated with the Bahrain relay team in the past and would be assisting Galina Bukharina in training the Indian runners even as the Russian is likely to concentrate on Hima Das at international events. The AFI has a core group of 12 javelin throwers and 25 runners in the 400m for the 2020 Olympics.

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Both Bartonietz – who has earlier trained with the likes of former thrower Boris Henry and has been the biomechanical expert at the German Olympic Training Centre for several years — and Satshuk would be based in India training during camps and not likely to travel with the Indian athletes for foreign competitions. “They would be based in the country only,” Valson confirmed.