Asian Championship bronze medallist Narender Rana is set to replace C A Kuttappa as the Indian men's boxing team head coach ahead of the World Championships, scheduled to get underway from October 24, in Belgrade, Serbia. The World Championships will also mark the end of High Performance Director Santiago Nieva’s tenure.
Rana, 49, has coached boxers associated with the Services Sports Control Board. The four-time National Champion has also trained the likes of Olympians Amit Panghal and Manish Kaushik who were part of the Indian team which participated at Tokyo 2020.
In fact, he has discovered boxing stars like Vikas Krishan, Shiva Thapa and L Devendro Singh in his career as a coach.
“Yes, Mr. Rana will take over from me. I remain a part of the coaching staff although not as chief coach,” Kuttappa told PTI.
Kuttappa has been serving in his role since 2018. The Dronacharya awardee was also a part of the Indian boxing squad support staff when Vijender Singh won a bronze medal at Beijing 2008.
Nieva, meanwhile, will continue until the World Championships. He was appointed in his role in 2017.
The development comes after India's underwhelming performance at Tokyo 2020. Lovlina Borgohain, the 69kg bronze medallist, was the lone Indian boxer to stand on the podium among the nine who had qualified for the Olympic Games.
It should also be noted that the contract of women's high performance director Raffaele Bergamasco was not extended after Tokyo 2020 while women's head coach Mohammed Ali Qamar is likely to be replaced.