Renjith pleads for inclusion of personal coach in Rio-bound team

Renjith, whose participation in 2008 and 2012 Olympics was disastrous, says that his performance suffered because of the absence of his personal coach on both occasions and doesn't want history to repeat in Rio.

Renjith Maheshwary, who trains under Nishad Kumar at SAI Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, jumped 17.30m in the Federation Cup recently in Bengaluru to qualify for the Olympics.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Renjith Maheshwary, who qualified for the Rio Olympics in triple jump, has made a request to include his personal coach A. V. Nishad Kumar as part of the Indian athletics team.

Renjith, who trains under Nishad Kumar at SAI Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, jumped 17.30m in the Federation Cup recently in Bengaluru to qualify for the Olympics. Renjith’s Bengaluru effort is currently the third best in the world.

Renjith, whose participation in 2008 and 2012 Olympics was disastrous, says that his performance suffered because of the absence of his personal coach on both occasions and doesn't want history to repeat in Rio.

“It is important for me that Nishad sir should travel along with me for the Rio Games. We have been working together for the last one year and he understands me pretty well. He fine-tuned my technique and run-up and result is for all to see. His physical presence is a source of my strength," he said.

He subsequently wrote to SAI DG Injeti Srinivasan, SAI-LNCPE principal G. Kishore and to Athletics Federation of India and requested for the inclusion of Nishad Kumar as one of the coaches for the athletics team.
Though SAI gave its approval for Nishad to travel to Rio, it said the expenses should be met from the TOP scheme allocated to the athlete.

Renjith is ready to fund the expenses of his coach, but says it will not do him any good as Nishad Kumar is not allowed to stay either at the Games Village or at the stadium during the event as he is not officially the coach of the Indian athletics team. The AFI has named Romanian Bedros Bedrosian as the jumps coach for the Rio Olympics.

“I am not averse to funding his trip but it is a waste of money as he doesn’t have permission to enter the village or meet me during the event at the stadium. Without him there is no point in competing," he said.

SAI coach Nishad Kumar, who was also Rio-bound Ankit Sharma’s coach till a year ago, was instrumental in Renjith rediscovering his top form after a series of dismal performances in the recent years. Nishad had coached Renjith when the triple jumper won the bronze medal in 2010 Commonwealth Games.