New Delhi: The long-serving Gurbax Singh Sandhu was on Wednesday retained as the national coach of the men`s Indian boxing team till the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"The Indian Boxing Federation is pleased to announce that Mr Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu will be retained as the Chief National Coach of the Indian boxing team till the 2016 Rio Olympics. This decision was taken in consultation with the Sports Authority of India at New Delhi recently," the IBF, which is currently suspended, said in a statement.
Sandhu, under whose guidance India won its first Olympic and World Championships medal through Vijender Singh (75kg), has been with the team for two decades.
"I had retired in June this year but I am happy to get an extension. I am satisfied with the terms of my contract because my purpose is to serve Indian boxing," Sandhu said.
"I am grateful to the IBF and the Sports Authority of India for having faith in me," he said.
Sandhu, who was first appointed as the chief coach in 1993, was picked for a fresh term by a committee under the IBF President Abhishek Matoria.
The committee also included I D Nanavati (Vice President, IBF) and Naraottam Singh Rawat (Chairman, Ring Officials Commission) and they "unanimously agreed" that Sandhu was the "right man to handle the Indian Boxing Team".
"I think Indian boxing has grown by leaps and bounds so far and I would love to see it progressing ahead. That is my aim and desire," said Sandhu.
Sandhu has been with the team in four Olympics so far, including the 2008 Beijing Games where Vijender got India its first medal in boxing -- a bronze.
The very next year, he was at the helm when Vijender won the country`s maiden World Championships medal -- again a bronze.
Save for the slide in the past one year after the IBF`s suspension, the boxers have been bringing laurels to the country.