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 on Monday.
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'.
The panel decided to recommend five names this time for the highest honour for coaches with one name each from boxing, athletics, wrestling, rowing and judo. For the first time, a judo coach is set to be conferred with the Dronacharya with Gogi being recommended for producing a number of international judokas in a coaching career of over two decades.
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.
A silent worker, Manoharan has been a pillar of the Indian boxing's coaching staff. It is learnt that Manipuri boxing coach Ibomcha Singh, who was a member of the panel, made a strong case for Manoharan during today's meeting.
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.