On a different plane

COMMITTED Coach A. Rajan

COMMITTED Coach A. Rajan   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: M. MOORTHY

Strong desire to produce champions is an important quality for a coach

A gold medal in 800m at the Tokyo Asian Athletic Championships in 1981, actually left A. Rajan in doubt about whether he could have clocked a better timing and lived up to his potential. Rajan's win at Tokyo gave him a chance to participate in the 1981 Athletic World Cup in Rome where he finished seventh. The World Cup selection is based on the gold-winning performance at the Asian Championships. And taking part in such a prestigious event was no mean achievement for Rajan."Those days coaching standards were not so refined and we also didn't have the exposure as compared to the Europeans given our annual trips abroad," says Rajan. He still regrets his non-representation in the Olympics. A qualified coach from NIS, Bangalore, Rajan has now sincerely taken to producing top class athletes. The current National champion in 110m hurdles and 200m, P. Muthusamy of Railways is his student. "This boys has it in him to make it big and all he needs is systematic training to fine tune his abilities," says Rajan, who holds an unbroken State record in 800m for the past 26 years.

Crucial role

Rajan believes in a coach's crucial role in shaping the career of amateur athletes. He asserts that a coach should have the appetite to produce champions. "Another important quality of a coach is to identify the talent and train accordingly. He must also be thorough with latest scientific advancements in coaching techniques."The rural sports competitions conducted by Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu monthly is a step in the right direction as it helps in spotting and nurturing aspirants. "There is a lot of talent available in the rural areas and this move will bring them in the forefront," he adds.Rajan also underlines the need for more weekend competitions like in European countries. "This helps in constant analysis of performance of youngsters," he says.G. PRASAD

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