The entire sports fraternity of India, of late, has snowballed into a big controversy after the award selection committee for the Dronacharya Award did not name Jaspal Rana in the nominated list of coaches. Members of the award selection committee, however, have come forward to clear the air and explain why Rana’s name was not on the list.
Credited for having groomed teen sensations like Manu, Saurabh and Anish into world-class athletes, some felt that the former Indian shooter’s exclusion was unjustified. Reflecting some light on the ongoing debate, two-time Asiad medallist and a member of the National Awards Committee 2019 Anju Bobby George emphasized that the entire process was conducted in a democratic fashion and without any personal bias.
I can attribute much of my success to having wonderful coaches. @jaspalrana2806 has earned my respect as one of the best & it is disappointing to see him overlooked for the Dronacharya.Hope this gives his wards the impetus to train harder &prove the committee wrong at Tokyo2020
— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 17, 2019
“One of the criteria that was not fulfilled in case of Rana is that to be eligible for the award the coach must have trained an athlete who has won an award for at least 180 days at a stretch, that criteria was not fulfilled,” she added in a press conference.
Interestingly, none of Rana’s proteges either mentioned his name. While Rana is the National junior pistol coach and trains the likes of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, according to reports they didn’t name him in the affidavit filed to be a part of the Target Olympic podium or TOPS scheme.
Saurabh has mentioned Amit Sheroen as his coach in the official records, Manu and Anish Bhanwala have named Suresh Kumar and Harpreet Singh respectively as their mentors.
The final list of coaches as published by the selection panel are- Vimal Kumar (badminton), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics) for the Dronacharya Award in regular category, while Mezban Patel (hockey), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi), Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket) were picked for the Dronacharya Award in the lifetime category.