The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Friday announced that it has relieved Georgian wrestling coach Temo Kazarashvili for non-performance since none of the Greco Roman wrestlers could qualify for the Tokyo Games. India had hired Kazarashvili in February 2019 to train country’s Greco Roman wrestlers at the national camp in Sonepat till Olympics. While four men’s free style wrestler and as many women made the cut for the Games but the country could not get even a single quota in Greco Roman style.
“Sports Authority of India (SAI) has relieved foreign wrestling coach Temo Kazarashvili of his contract after no Indian Greco-Roman grappler secured Olympic Games qualification,” SAI said in a statement.
“The decision was taken following a recommendation from the Wrestling Federation of India. His contract with SAI was from February 2019 till the Olympics,” it added.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Assistant secretary Vinod Tomar defended the decision.
“We had hired him specifically for Olympics but there is no result. His contract was till August this year but since there is no national camp what he would have done now when all the focus is on Tokyo Games, so we told SAI that his services are not required,” Tomar told PTI.
Tomar said they will look for new foreign coaches after the Olympics.
WFI had also sacked Iran’s Hossein Karimi (free style) and American Andrew Cook (women) mid-way into their terms, saying it had become difficult to deal with their tantrums.
Anshu Malik withdraws from Poland Open, being tested for COVID-19
Olympic-bound young Indian wrestler Anshu Malik on Friday withdrew from the Poland Open after catching fever and will be in isolation as a precautionary measure till she gets her COVID-19 test report.
It has been learnt that when reigning Asian champion Anshu reported for weigh-in for the 57kg category on Friday morning, she had fever and was suggested that she withdraws from the competition.
“Anshu did not want to miss the competition but as a precautionary measure she has been isolated and has given a sample to confirm if she is infected with coronavirus or not,” a source in the Indian camp told PTI.
“It does not look like COVID-19 since she has been in good shape since landing in Warsaw. But such are the times that you can’t risk, so she is being tested,” the source added.
Anshu’s parents had contracted virus last month and till the time they recovered, she and her younger brother had stayed in a hotel in Rohtak. She had come back home only after they recovered.
Anshu, 19, had qualified for the Tokyo Games through the Asian Olympic Qualifier, held in Almaty in April this year.
Anshu is now the second Indian to have pulled out of the last Ranking Series event ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Deepak Punia had withdrawn from the men’s freestyle 86kg competition due to an elbow injury.
India have so far won a silver medal through Tokyo-bound Ravi Dahiya in the men’s 61kg free style competition.
Vinesh Phogat will compete in the 53kg category later Friday.