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Athletics Federation of India sacks Neeraj Chopra’s German coach Uwe Hohn, says not happy with his performance, appoints three new coaches

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Monday sacked gold medalist Neeraj Chopra’s coach Uwe Hohn saying it is not happy with his performance.

Hours after this announcement, the AFI appointed long jumper M. Sreeshankar, shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor and javelin thrower Annu Rani as Chopra’s new coach.

The contract of the 59-year-old German, a former world record holder, was valid until the end of the Tokyo Olympics.

Speaking in a press conference at the end of a two-day executive council meeting of the federation, the AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said the federation is not happy with his performance. The meeting was also attended by AFI planning committee chairman Lalit K Bhanot and vice-president Anju Bobby George.

The meeting results suggested that the athletes need more tournaments in the run-up to marquee global events.

Uwe Hohn was appointed as Chief Coach in November 2017 for one year to train Neeraj Chopra and two other Tokyo Olympians including  Shivpal Singh and Annu Rani. Tokyo Olympics gold-medalist Neeraj Chopra was under his guidance during the Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2018 before another German Klaus Bartonietz took up that role.

Hohn stirred up a row before the Tokyo Olympics by claiming that he had been blackmailed into accepting his contract by the Sports Authority of India and the AFI.

Uwe Hohn, a track and field athlete who represented Germany, holds the world record for the highest javelin throw of 104.80m. He had achieved this feat with an old design of javelin.

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Hohn had won the IAAF World Cup in 1985 and European Championship in 1982.

Despite the many setbacks, this has also been India’s best-ever Olympics with javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra bringing the country its first athletics gold.

The AFI president also revealed that Tata Steel will be the host of the National Open championships for the next five years in Jamshedpur.

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