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Badminton power could fuel Indian sprinters

Vishu Tolan.

Vishu Tolan.   | Photo Credit: Stan Rayan

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It’s a country that has produced some of the planet’s fastest men, including the great Usain Bolt. Now, Jamaica’s Vishu Tolan has come up with a unique offer that could have our sprinters virtually running on badminton power and training under his country’s top athletics coach.

In return, Tolan, who is the vice-president of the Badminton World Federation, is keen to use Indian badminton coaches to improve the shuttle scene there.

“Currently, I am the deputy chairman of the Jamaica’s G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and the national coach of the Jamaica track and field team. Maurice Wilson is the principal and we have a strong track and field programme,” said Tolan in a chat with The Hindu on the sidelines of the BWF World senior badminton championships here on Saturday.

“I’d like to make an offer to you today, through your medium, that if India is desirous of sending either athletes or coaches to our institution, Jamaica would like to have a bilateral arrangement with you. As the deputy chairman of the college, I make this offer to you.”

Incidentally, Wilson was the head coach of the Jamaican team at the recent World Championships in London and nine of his trainees took part in the event. He was also the technical leader for the athletics team at last year’s Rio Olympics apart from being among Jamaica’s leading coaches at the 2011 and 2015 Worlds.

“We have a strong pedigree when it comes to our athletics coaches, we can actually coach or teach your coaches, we can also take students and coach them. So, this is something we could do on a government to government bilateral arrangement,” said Tolan who was also the first vice-president of the Jamaica Olympic Association for a four-year team till June this year.

“In turn, you could send some of your badminton coaches, so we could do a nice exchange programme,” he added. Jamaica is ranked 67th in BWF’s world country rankings while India is seventh.

Tolan, the BWF observer at the Senior Worlds here, feels that Kochi’s Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium could host the 2019 Junior Worlds if India bids for it.

“After seeing the championships here, I do believe India can host more tournaments. This venue is good for World juniors, you have 12 courts and eight sky courts, probably the only place in the country to have so many courts in one venue,” said Tolan, whose forefathers were from India.

He also revealed that hosting the Junior Worlds would cost something between $100,000 to $150,000, just one fourth of the budget for the Senior Worlds.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:09:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/badminton-power-could-fuel-indian-sprinters/article19700394.ece

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