Sunday, March 26, 2023

WFI to hold review Olympics meeting, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia will be on agenda

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Singh is unhappy with the Indian wrestlers’ performance at the Olympics and has called for a review meeting on Tuesday. Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia will be amongst the top agendas during the discussion.

WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told Sportskeeda:

“I will be meeting the President today. We have to discuss about the Olympic performance and way forward. The result was certainly not par with our expectations.”

Singh had claimed the Indian wrestlers would surpass the 2012 London Games performance and win more than two medals in Tokyo.

However, the predictions fell flat after only Ravi Dahiya (silver in 57 kg) and Bajrang Punia (bronze in 65 kg) finished on the podium.

Agendas to be discussed by Wrestling Federation of India in review meeting

One of the top agendas that will be discussed at the review meeting is Vinesh Phogat. The WFI president was unhappy with Vinesh, who refused to train with the Indian wrestlers and wore a non-certified singlet.

She wore a Nike singlet which was not approved by the United World Wrestling (UWW) in her quarterfinal loss. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials have filed a complaint with WFI which will discuss whether any indisciplinary action needs to be taken against Vinesh.

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The federation was also unhappy with Bajrang, who wrestled in the Ali Aliyev tournament in June despite national coach Jagmander Singh advising him not to. Bajrang injured his knee in the tournament, which resulted in him struggling at the Olympics.

“Wrestlers need to understand the importance of competitions. They cannot do whatever they want and however they want it to be. There is a process to things,” WFI official said.

WFI to also discuss contracts for coaches

Besides this, there will also be discussion on contracts of foreign coaches. The wrestling federation is happy with Russian coach Kamal Malikhov – Ravi Dahiya’s coach – and is likely to continue with him. Deepak Punia’s coach Murad Gaidarov’s contract, on the other hand, has been terminated after the assault incident at the Olympics.

“We have got the feedback that Kamal is good and understands Ravi, so he might get a contract renewal. Murad’s contract has been terminated with immediate effect,” WFI official added.

Vinesh’s Hungary coach Woller Akos also finds himself in the firing line after the Olympic debacle. Vinesh, who entered as the top seed in the 53 kg category, was the favorite to finish on the podium. However, she had a disappointing outing and bowed out in the quarterfinals.

Bajrang’s Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis’ future will also be discussed during the WFI review meeting.


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