After all the controversies, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has handed a contract extension to Bajrang Punia’s Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis till the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The federation has also appointed Russian coach Murad Gaidarov to guide Deepak Punia and Ravi Dahiya.
There were a lot of talks surrounding the firing of wrestler Bajrang Punia’s Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis. However, the saga has now come to an end with the WFI deciding to extend the contract of Bentindis till the end of the 2020 Olympics which will be played in Tokyo.
“The Georgian was under pressure since WFI was putting pressure on Bajrang to change the coach. Bajrang told WFI that Bentinidis was best suited for him to which the Federation agreed but put a condition that the Bentinidis has to come under them,” a source close to the developments told PTI.
There was some confusion surrounding Punia as his coach and there were complains that Bajrang was disappointed with the WFI for the way the Federation is working. Cuban coach Wilfredo Garcia was also tried for a few days but Bajrang was not that satisfied with the hiring.
“We just want our wrestlers to win a medal at Tokyo Games. Bajrang wanted to train with Shako (Bentinidis) only, so we hired him,” Tomar was quoted as saying by PTI.
JSW’s Manisha Malhotra said, “By this WFI will have direct control over Shako. We had no objection to that. There was no reason to sack him, he got Bajrang to world number one rank. Yes, he is a difficult person to handle but you can’t ignore the good work he did with Bajrang.”
The federation has also appointed Russian coach Murad Gaidarov to guide Deepak Punia and Ravi Dahiya. It has also been learned that the WFI will pay USD 5000 per month to Bentinidis and Gaidarov.