Abhinav Bindra: ‘I stuck to a coach I hated for 20 years’

The 2008 Olympics gold medallist wrote on Twitter about his own relationship with his coach just hours after Anil Kumble stepped down as India’s head coach.

Abhinav Bindra... “[My coach] always told me things I did not want to hear.”   -  Getty Images

He didn’t take any name but the reference to Indian cricket was hard to miss as Abhinav Bindra revealed how he stuck to a coach he had hated for 20 years.

Within hours of Anil Kumble’s resignation as India’s head coach, catalysed due to “reservations” expressed by captain Virat Kohli, Bindra tweeted about his own equation with German Uwe Riesterer, a long-time member of his coaching staff. “My biggest teachers was coach Uwe. I hated him! But stuck with him for 20 years. He always told me things I did not want to hear.#justsaying,” Bindra, who is now retired, wrote on Twitter.

Riesterer was part of Bindra’s support staff during his gold medal-winning performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was there with him at last year’s Games as well; he finished 4th in the 10m air rifle event there before calling it a day.

Kumble had conceded that his partnership with Kohli had become “untenable” despite attempts to resolve the misunderstandings. In his resignation letter to the BCCI, the 46-year-old former captain said he was taken aback when he was told about Kohli’s “reservations” about his coaching style.

Kumble’s decision to step down came just two days after India’s embarrassing loss to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final. His one-year contract expired at the end of the Champions Trophy but he was given the option to travel with the team to the Caribbean for the limited-overs series beginning on Friday.