The Telegraph
Saturday , July 26 , 2014
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Sandhu is in demand

New Delhi: Though not yet sure about how many medals his wards would bag in the boxing ring, India’s boxing coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu has already created a record of sorts in the ongoing Commonwealth Games.

The 61-year-old veteran trainer, who has gone to Glasgow as the chief coach of the Indian team, has been approached by two participating nations to help their boxers during the bouts.

Though Sandhu is yet to give his consent, it would be a unique occasion if he agrees as then an Indian coach would be sitting in the technical area of three different nations.

“The officials of two other countries — Uganda and St. Lucia — have approached me to be at the ringside when their boxers would be fighting here,” Sandhu said from Glasgow. “I have asked for some time to think about the offers as I will have to look at the schedule and then take a decision. I cannot compromise with the position of Indian boxers. During Indian bouts, I will have to be there,” he added.

A new rule by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is the reason behind the sudden demand for the Indian chief coach. The AIBA has made it mandatory that each team would have to field a three-star coaching course degree holder for every bout in all major competitions.

The new rule has put lots of participating nations in the CWG in trouble as they do not have coaches with three-star degree, the highest coaching degree under AIBA course. The international body now has asked the boxing associations of these countries to try and use eligible coaches from other teams.

The Olympic associations of all CWG countries have also agreed to the proposal. Interestingly, Sandhu, too, is the only Indian to have such a degree.

Sandhu will not only have to be by the ringside for all the men’s bouts, he will have to attend the women’s bouts as well, as no coach in the Indian women’s boxing team has the required qualification.