Indian athletics to get High Performance Director three years after first one resigns

Indian athletics will have a High Performance Director to plan and strategise for next year’s Olympics with the government clearing German Volker Herrmann’s name for the high-profile job, the national federation boss Adille Sumariwala said on Thursday.

Herrmann will be the second person to take up this job after a short stint by American Derek Boosey, a 1968 Mexico City Olympian, who was appointed in October 2015 ahead of the Rio Olympics but resigned after seven months in charge.

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) chief Sumariwala said the 38-year-old Herrmann was highly recommended by the German Athletics Federation and he will take charge soon.

“The government has cleared the appointment of High Performance Director and Herrmann will join soon. He is a highly qualified person and his tenure is for the Olympic cycle,” Sumariwalla said here.

“His job is more to do with planning, strategising, looking after the technical aspect, studying the data, analysing the performance of the athletes and dealing with sports science, etc. He will not deal much with day to day operational aspects which will be done by the chief coach,” the AFI president said.

Sumariwalla said that the High Performance Director will also look after the coaches, will pick the best training places for athletes and the best meets for them to take part in.

“He became an assistant coach at the age of 17 and he is an authority in athletes’ fitness and a top-class sprint coach,” he said.

A Level A sprint coach license (top athletics license in Germany) holder, Herrmann is a High Performance Sports Consultant and his last job was that of Technical Director of Singapore from April 2017 to December 2018.

He was head coach/High Performance Manager at the Olympic Training Center in Cologne, Germany from 2010 to 2013, besides also being the academic teacher at the German Sports University in Cologne from 2011 to 2013.

Herrmann, who also holds a Sports Science diploma (from DSHS Cologne) as well as Sports Federation Manager’s degree, was head coach of Bavarian Sprint team in Munich.

He has served as Scientific Consultant at German Athletics Federation from 2012 to 2017. He is still serving as a Lecturer at International Association of Athletics Federations in Monaco.