‘System’ should improve for better performance, says Vinesh

The wrestler noted efforts needed to be made to improve the sport’s health in India.

Vinesh Phogat... “The Indian team badly needs a foreign coach.”   -  AFP

It is time the “system admits to its fault” for the national team’s barren show at the World Championship, Vinesh Phogat has said.

In a strong statement posted on her Twitter handle, Phogat said the wrestlers are ready to accept responsibility for the debacle but also urged the system to do some soul searching for the sake of the sport. “Main apni khud ki galtiyon ko correct karne main koi kasar naahi chhodungi but at the same time, humare system ko bhi apni galtiyan sudharni padegi (I will leave no stone unturned to rectify my mistakes but the system should also undergo course correction),” Vinesh wrote.

Vinesh, however, did not mention whether ‘system’ referred to the work of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), the Sports Ministry, the Sports Authority of India or all of them.

Foreign coach ‘badly needed’

The Indian squad trained at a local club in Boulevard de Bercy borough, situated at the border of France and Germany instead of Paris, the venue for the World Championship. It practised with junior French wrestlers and the WFI blamed local organisers for not providing them good facilities for Indian team’s preparations.

She further stated that for the past one year, the national team is in dire need of a foreign coach but nothing has happened on that front. “The Indian wrestling team badly needs a foreign coach and a lot has been said and written over the past one year but there is no progress on that front. We desperately need foreign exposure trips but I guess for the next one year, we will have to train in India,” she wrote on Twitter.

‘Did anything happen?’

Phogat expressed her displeasure that even after a lot of deliberations after the Olympics, the system was still static. “There was lot of talks post Rio Olympics that our system needs to change. Did anything happen? You guys can tell me better,” wrote the wrestler, who suffered a career threatening knee injury during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

As a word of caution, she said that the Paris debacle would be an oft-repeated one if the system does not change. “If we are not ready to accept that there is a problem that we need to tackle, what happened in Paris last week would happen once again,” she concluded.