Games and Sports

Avinash Pandu appointed as the first High Performance Director of Weightlifting

Image Source : PTI
File photo of Mirabai Chanu

The Sports Ministry has given a big gift to the weightlifters who are preparing for the Paris Olympics. The Ministry has approved the appointment of Avinash Pandu of Mauritius as High Performance Director (HPD) for Weightlifting till Paris Olympics. He is the first person to be appointed to this position in this sport. His appointment was recommended by the Foreign Coach Selection Committee of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) along with the officials of the Weightlifting Federation of India (IWF).

According to a statement issued by SAI, his annual salary will be $54,000 (approximately Rs 40.50 lakh). The aim of his appointment is to build a strong coaching structure along with enhancing the capability of the players. The 46-year-old from Mauritius, based in South Africa, has over two decades of coaching experience in South Africa and Indonesia. As HPD, Pandu was instrumental in helping two Indonesian weightlifters win medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

IWF President Sahdev Yadav said his appointment would give the needed momentum to the game. He said, “Pandu is very experienced. He will promote Junior Development Program at SAI’s National Center of Excellence (NCOE) across the country.” On his appointment, Pandu told Cape Town that he is looking forward to take over as India’s first HPD for Weightlifting. “I am sure I will do my best,” he said. I will try to give my best in youth and junior sections to help develop talent recognition and exposure.”

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