WFI to decide on contract extension for overseas coaches after Nationals

WFI also has to decide if a foreign coach is required at the national camp for women wrestlers as the federation has not yet approached any trainer from overseas since American Andrew Cook was sacked.

Bajrang Punia's coach Shako Bentinidis (right) is one among the many foreign coaches, whose future will decided post the Nationals in November.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Tuesday said it will decide on the extension of existing foreign coaches attached with prominent wrestlers and other coaches for the next Olympic cycle only after the National Championship in November.

Georgian Shako Bentinidis is attached with Tokyo bronze winner Bajrang Punia while Russian Kamal Malikov trains Ravi Dahiya, who became the new super star of Indian wrestling after winning a silver in the Japanese capital.

WFI also has to decide if a foreign coach is required at the national camp for women wrestlers as the federation has not yet approached any trainer from overseas since American Andrew Cook was sacked.

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The WFI had also sacked Iranian Hossein Karimi, the men's freestyle coach, in October 2019 for throwing tantrums and since then Jagmander Singh has been overseeing the preparations as chief national coach.

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The World Championship is set to begin from October 2 in Oslo, Norway while the Nationals are scheduled in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh from November 19-21.

"We have not yet held meeting with the wrestlers. We will take their inputs also. All the wrestlers are now focussed on World Championship and after that, they will take some rest before the Nationals. Only after that we will discuss this issue with our prominent wrestlers," WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI.

It has been learnt that the WFI is not keen on involving a foreign coach for the women's national camp since it feels it has not helped the female grapplers much.

However, it is expected that Bentindis and Malikov will be handed fresh contracts while the federation has to look for a new coach for Deepak Punia, whose Russian coach Murad Gaidarov was sacked after he assaulted a referee during the Tokyo Games.