New Delhi: Their stints were supposed to wind up after the Olympics this year but with the mega event postponed till 2021, several foreign coaches training Indian athletes for Tokyo are set for extended tenures as they seek to complete their "unfinished mission".
Whether it's women's wrestling coach Andrew Cook, shooting's celebrated pistol coach Pavel Smirnov, boxing's duo of Santiago Nieva and Rafaelle Bergamasco or athletics' high performance director Volker Herrmann, their contracts were to end after the Games.
But the Games will have to wait for a year thanks to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. This translates into contract extension for India's coaching imports in the "interest of continuity" and the process will be initiated once the national lockdown to combat the pandemic comes to an end.
"It's the Sports Authority of India (SAI) which pays their salaries. We have to speak with them...They also know that these are extraordinary circumstances, so I don't see any problem in getting extension in contracts for them," Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Secretary VN Prasood told PTI.
Weightlifting: Andrew Cook (women); Temo Gabishvili (Greco-Roman); Shako Bentinidis (Bajrang Punia).
Shooting: Pavel Smirnov and Oleg Mikahilov.
Boxing: Santiago Nieva and Rafaelle Bergamasco
Athletics: Volker Herrmann
Hockey: Graham Reid (Men) and Sjoerd Marijne (Women)....