Nikolai gets 3 months extension; AFI wants him till London

New Delhi: The Athletics Federation of India has asked the government to keep long-distance running coach Nikolai Snesarev till the 2012 London Olympics after the Belarussian’s contract was extended for three months only by the Sports Authority of India.

Nikolai’s contract ended on November 30 and SAI has already extended it for another three months despite the coach having expressed his desire for a stint till London Olympics.

Sources told that AFI officials on Friday asked the Sports Ministry to renew the contracts of Nikolai and four other foreign coaches till London Olympics to ensure continuity in the preparations of the athletes who have produced stupendous performances in the Commonwealth Games and the just-concluded Asian Games.

“The AFI officials have recommended the name of four coaches, including that of Nikolai, to give them contracts till London Olympics. As the Olympics are just one and half year away they wanted continuity in the preparations for the London Olympics where India are aiming to do well in athletics,” a source said.

“The AFI officials want the rising profile of athletics to continue following the good performances in CWG and Asian Games,” he added.

Besides Nikolai, other foreign coaches whose names have been recommended for new contracts were Dmitry Buldov, Iurri Ogorodnik and Alexander Krasilinikov.

The AFI has also asked SAI for the recruitment of seven other new foreign coaches while deciding to recommend to relieve the services of some foreign coaches, including Arnold Stasiuk.

“The AFI officials have asked for new foreign coaches for shot put, discus throw, high jump, javelin and combined events (heptathlon and decathlon),” the source said.

India could not win any medal in the seven events in the just-concluded Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.