Legendary sprinter Carl Lewis came to India in his prime to participate in a Permit Meet in New Delhi during the late eighties. Now it's the turn of his once bitter adversary Ben Johnson to step on Indian soil, albeit as a coach.
The controversial Canadian sprinter, who was stripped off his 100m gold medal during the Seoul Olympics, is in Goa for the past two days with two of his NRI students -- the Tumbar brothers, 18-year old Gurveer and his 17-year-old brother Karamveer. The two will be appearing for trials at reigning I-League champions Salgaocar.
"Yes, I have heard that two boys who are students of Ben Johnson have come for trials. I am yet to meet them. The boys will attend their first trial session tomorrow with the rest of the squad. I will also meet Mr Johnson tomorrow," said Salgaocar coach Karim Bencharifa on Friday.
However, Bencharifa was categorical in stating that he has no information about the two boys and would only take a call after the trials are over.
"I have no idea about the quality of these two boys. I will only have a fair idea after I watch them at training," Bencharifa said.
Both Gurveer and Karamveer are strikers. Incidentally, 49-year-old Johnson has taken up coaching and been their strength and stamina conditioning coach at the Turner Fenton Secondary School in Ontario, Canada.
Incidentally, Gurveer's Facebook page shows that his favourite footballer is none other than Lionel Messi.
It is learnt that the Tumbar brothers possess a lot of speed, but it's to be seen whether they are skillful enough to be roped in by a professional club at the moment.