TOI Exclusive: Boxing trainer Santiago Nieva quits to take job in Australia | boxing news

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NEW DELHI: In a jolt for Indian boxing ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, High Performance Director (HPD), Swede Santiago Nieva, resigned from his post on Friday, citing a “better opportunity” from Boxing Australia.
Santiago has been offered a contract extension as the HPD of India’s men’s boxing team until the Paris 2024 Olympics in January this year, ending months of uncertainty surrounding his future. post disappointing performance of the country’s boxers at the Tokyo Olympics.
At NIS Patiala on Friday, a teary-eyed Santiago broke the news to his fellow trainers and boxers at the men’s national camp during the evening training session, sources confirmed to TOI. Santiago’s sudden resignation will mark the end of his five-year association with the Indian boxers. He had occupied the position vacated by the Cuban BI Fernandes.
Prior to this assignment, Santiago served as Vice Chairman of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Coaches Commission. With Santiago’s resignation, India’s pugilists were left without a foreign coach after the women’s boxing HPD, Italian Raffaele Bergamasco’s contract was not renewed after the Tokyo Olympics.
A source told TOI that when the coaching staff gathered in the NIS boxing gym for the evening session, Santiago demanded 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 while the coaches and support staff were speechless,” the source said.
“Santiago told us that he got an offer from the Australian Boxing Federation and he accepted it. He will join there as head coach. He was equally sad to leave Indian boxing at a stage as crucial when you have the CWG and other important tournaments planned,” the source added.
It has been learned that Santiago will lead the country’s boxers for another month until June 6, before departing for Australian shores to take up his new posting. There was no official reaction from the BFI or SAI to Santiago’s exit.
Santiago’s contract originally expired on September 30, 2021, before being offered another three-month extension until the October-November 2021 World Championships in Belgrade. Unfortunately for Santiago, of the 13 national champions who had competed at Worlds, only one – Akash Kumar (54kg) – could return with a medal – a bronze medal.



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