CHENNAI: Following lacklustre performances by the Indian team in the recently finished Asian Wrestling Championship in Doha, the Wrestling Federation of India(WFI) has terminated the services of three coaches, including freestyle men’s chief coach Vinod Kumar. The decision, which was taken on Thursday, has been conveyed to the training centres in Sonepat and Lucknow, where the coaches are being placed.
Apart from Vinod Kumar, Rajaneesh (freestyle men) and Ramani Chanu (freestyle women) were the others who were shown the door. India notched up four bronze and one silver at the continental event. In the previous edition in Astana, wrestlers had bagged six medals — one silver and five bronze.
According to sources, WFI honchos were not amused by the way wrestlers were handled by coaches during competitions. “Four wrestlers went down to their opponents in the last 15 seconds. They were leading until then, and suddenly in the dying seconds, they gave away their lead as well as the bout. Parveen Rana (70 kg), Rajneesh (65kg), Mausam Khatri (97 kg) and Narsingh Yadav (74 kg) were all defeated in this manner. Rana was infact leading 7-0 until the last 30 seconds of the semifinal bout. Then he surrendered the lead and the Uzbek wrestler capitalised on that,” a source said.
Normally in the dying seconds, wrestlers preserve their lead by either moving out of the mat or raising protests with the referees. In both cases, one point is penalised but the time lost in the process isn’t extended and that aids the wrestlers in hanging on to their margin. Surprisingly, Indian wrestlers failed to do so and the federation found the coaches responsible for this.
However, coach Vinod Kumar refused to accept that Indians put up a dud show in Doha.
“Our rivals were stronger and the standard of refereeing was bad. Poor refereeing cost us points in the final seconds,” he said. Apart from coaches, one wrestler and a masseur have been given warnings for breaching discipline.