Boxing coach G Manoharan, rowing’s Jose Jacob and wrestling’s Mahaveer Prasad were among five names recommended for this year’s Dronacharya Award by a selection panel headed by World Cup-winning hockey captain Ajitpal Singh today. According to sources in the sports ministry, veteran athletics coach N Lingappa and judo’s Gurcharan Singh Gogi have also been recommended.
Apart from Prasad, who will be conferred with the award on the basis of current performance (2010-2013) taken into account, the four others are being awarded in the ‘Lifetime Achievement Category’.
For Manoharan, it was certainly a case of better late than never having coached the junior pugilists for the last 26 years. All the star boxers in the senior level like Shiva Thapa, Sumit Sangwan, Vikash Krishan has been under Manoharan’s tutelege during their junior years.
Shiva and Sumit won silver medals at the Youth Olympics and Asian Junior Championship under Manoharan in 2010.
Interestingly, wrestling coach Mahaveer is from the Greco-Roman category with some of his students being Asian Games bronze medallist Sunil Rana and Glasgow CWG silver medallist Geetika Jakhar, who also won a silver medal during the Doha Asian Games in 2006.
Athletics coach N Lingappa, who is now 90 years old, has finally been conferred with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ after having applied for 15 straight years.
Odisha based Jacob has 20 rowers to his credit, who have won medals in various international competitions over the years. Under his guidance, Odisha have won the team championship in the National Rowing Championship, a record 13 times. His wards Pramila Prabha Minz and Pratima Puhan bagged the bronze medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games (2010) while another Odisha girl Mina Madhuri Toppo won bronze at the World Championship.