Karnataka swimming coach Nihar Ameen on Monday hit out at the organisers of the 34th National Games, saying top athletes were missing due to the wrong timing of the multi-sporting event following several postponements.

Ameen, who coaches Indian swimming sensation Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra in his academy in Bangalore, said the organisers wanted to hold the National Games just for the sake of it.

“I don’t see any point of these National Games. The timing is not ideal for these Games. It’s too cold too train in Bangalore and I’m sure the situation is worse in north Indian States. Nobody will be in their peak with the lack of preparation,” Ameen told PTI.

Ameen has a genuine reason to be angry as some of the top swimmers, including Rehan Poncha were missing from the event.

“We all were short on preparation. Nobody really knew whether this time the National Games were happening. We all were hoping that it would be postponed again and unsure of the participation. It was all decided suddenly,” he said referring to Poncha’s absence.

“Definitely we are missing Poncha badly. I don’t know the reasons. Maybe he is taking rest after the Asian Games,” he said.

Ameen said a proper calendar for athletes should be ready at least four years in advance to bring the best out of them.

“Interest of the athletes should always be kept priority. We need to have a calendar in place at least four years in advance. How athletes are winning medals at world stage despite this is extremely unbelievable. The system is difficult to understand,” said a miffed Ameen.

“The only motivation for them is good cash awards to recover the huge expense they incur from training and exposure trips,” he said.

Keywords: National Games

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