Santiago Nieva has stepped down from his role as the Indian team’s high performance director, according to a statement issued by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Saturday.
He will now be the head coach of the Australian national boxing team.
“Indian boxing has benefited immensely with Santiago’s presence,” said BFI president Ajay Singh.
Nieva said: “I have had an amazing five years working along with the BFI and the talented boxers of the nation. I believe Indian boxing has great potential and it will continue to grow.”
Nieva, who took charge of the national team in 2017, primarily worked with the men boxers. He played an important role in fine-tuning the training pattern and finding training bases abroad, where the boxers got opportunities of good sparring and competitions.
The Indian boxers produced good results in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 World championships (where India gave its best ever showing with Amit Panghal landing a silver and Manish Kaushik a bronze) and other high level competitions during the Argentine-origin Swedish’s tenure.
Nieva’s role was under the scanner after the dismal performance of the Indian men in the Tokyo Olympics, where the country had highest-ever participation (nine boxers, including five men). He waited for a few months before getting a one-year contract.
Italian Raffaele Bergamasco, who was the high performance director for women boxers, left earlier as his contract was not renewed after the Olympics. Lovlina Borgohain was the lone Indian boxer to win a medal in the Tokyo Games.