SAI sacks Vinod Kumar, names Kuldeep Malik as India's new chief wrestling coach
Dhyanchand awardee Malik, who has been the women's freestyle chief coach till now, will be mentoring the men's freestyle wrestling team as well.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Monday named Kuldeep Malik as the new chief national coach in place of axed Vinod Kumar.
Dhyanchand awardee Malik, who has been the women's freestyle chief coach till now, will be mentoring the men's freestyle team as well.
Meanwhile, WFI has also named a new assistant men's freestyle coach and women's team coach following the sacking of Rajneesh and Ramani Chanu, respectively.
While Jagmal Singh, who has been the personal coach of grapplers like Narsingh Yadav and Sandeep, would be taking over as assistant men's freestyle coach, former international player Krishna Arya will be mentoring the women's team. Both of them are employed as coaches with the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
"It is not that we have sacked the coaches because of disciplinary issues. WFI just wanted to make some changes, so that we can have better results from our wrestlers in future," WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Omar told PTI.
"Our performance was not up to the mark in the recently-concluded Asian Wrestling championship in Doha, where we lost quiet a few bouts because of our coaches' nonchalance, and hence, we thought some changes were required," he added. Last week, WFI sacked coaches Vinod Kumar, Rajneesh and Chanu, apart from 13 wrestlers.
The chief coach was sacked primarily for not lodging protest with the Doha Asian Championship's technical judges against poor umpiring. Vinod Kumar allegedly kept quiet and did not register any protest despite some of the Indian wrestlers being handed biased judgement during the event.
The other two coaches were removed simply because they failed to provide adequate support to the wrestlers during the crucial moments of their bouts and some of them lost from a winning position.
"Even though our wrestlers did well in the championship, a lot of them failed to get the desired results in the end. For instance, one was leading 9-2 at one stage and then in last few minutes he lost the bout primarily due to lack of support from the coaches," a source earlier said.
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