TOI Exclusive: Boxing coach Santiago Nieva resigns, to take up job in Australia | Boxing News – Times of India
Santiago was offered a contract extension as the HPD of the Indian men’s boxing team till the 2024 Paris Olympics in January this year, which ended months of uncertainty surrounding his future post the country’s boxers’ underwhelming performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
At NIS Patiala on Friday, a teary-eyed Santiago broke the news to his fellow coaches and boxers at the men’s national camp during the evening sparring session, sources confirmed to TOI. Santiago’s sudden resignation will mark the end of his association of five years with Indian boxers. He had filled the position left vacant by Cuban BI Fernandes.
Prior to this assignment, Santiago was the International Boxing Association (AIBA) coaches commission vice-chairman. With Santiago’s resignation, Indian pugilists have been left without any foreign coach after women’s boxing’s HPD, Italian Raffaele Bergamasco’s contract was not renewed post the Tokyo Olympics.
A source told TOI that when the coaching staff assembled at the boxing hall in NIS for the evening session, Santiago requested everyone’s attention for an announcement. “Everyone was in shock after hearing about his resignation. It was something out of the blue and, for a moment, the coaches and support staff personnel were left speechless,” the source informed.
“Santiago told us that he has got an offer from Australian boxing federation and that he has accepted it. He will be joining there as the head coach. He was equally sad about leaving Indian boxing at such a crucial stage when you have the CWG and other important tournaments lined up,” the source added.
It’s been learnt that Santiago would be guiding the country’s boxers for another month till June 6, before leaving for Australian shores to take up his new assignment. There has been no official reaction from either the BFI or SAI on Santiago’s exit.
Santiago’s contract had originally expired on September 30, 2021, before he was offered another three months extension till the World Championships in October-November 2021 in Belgrade. Sadly for Santiago, out of the 13 national champions who had competed at the Worlds, only one – Akash Kumar (54kg) – could return with a medal – a bronze.
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