India at the Olympics | Other Sports

Country first for Baig & Ramesh

Ismail Baig.  

They have untold stories even as they script the success stories of their trainees. And not all coaches, who untiringly work behind the scenes to mould athletes into lead performers on some of the biggest stages like the Olympics, get their due.

Consider two shining examples — chief national rowing coach Ismail Baig and athletics coach N. Ramesh.

Not many might be aware that the Guntur-born Baig, who trained the two Olympics-bound rowers Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat (men’s double sculls) at the Army Rowing Node (ARN) in Pune — had to summon all the courage to stay back with the rowers even as his wife tested COVID-19 positive a few weeks ago.

Baig couldn’t even think of leaving the bio-bubble at ARN even for a day as that would mean breaking pandemic protocols. He didn’t want the efforts and planning of months go down the drain.

“I preferred to stay back and fortunately my family understood.

“I was monitoring their treatment from Pune and by God’s grace, they could come out of the crisis,” Baig said.

The rowing coach added he was with his family only for a brief period during the last six months as ARN was his “second home”.

The 55-year-old Ramesh’s case is no different. His wife was bed-ridden a few weeks ago and Dutee Chand’s coach faced a similar crisis.

Ramesh, too, stayed back in Patiala with the Tokyo-bound athletes because of the bio-bubble.

Family support

“I didn’t dare to think of even moving out of the National camp. Fortunately, my family members insisted that I focus on coaching,” he said.

There were many instances when the coaches stayed away from personal issues to be with the trainees.

“There is no better joy for us than to see our trainees scale the pedestal of stardom. Everything else is secondary for us,” the spirited coaches said.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 1:13:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/country-first-for-baig-ramesh/article35387612.ece

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