The Athletics Federation of India has clearly decided to focus on javelin throw and 4x400m relay as the potential medal prospects for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and have roped in additional coaches to help the existing staff, the Hindu reported on Saturday.
Dr. Klaus Bartonietz, a German bio-mechanics expert has been brought on board to work with the javelin throwers while Valerii Satshuk, who has been associated with the Bahrain relay team, would be working with the quarter-milers along with Galina Bukharina.
The arrival of Bartonietz will allow German legend Uwe Hohn to concentrate solely on Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra.
“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,” AFI secretary general CK Valson was quoted as saying.
“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.”
The AFI has a core group of 12 javelin throwers and 25 runners in the 400m for selection at the 2020 Olympics.
Sports Authority of India has also roped in the services of recovery expert Andrei Filimonau.
Valson said these new experts will work with the campers and won’t travel with the contingent for tournaments abroad.