CHENNAI: Clearing first hurdle, wrestling coaches Shako Bentinidis and Temo Kazarashvili landed at the New Delhi airport late on Thursday night boarding an extradition flight meant for Indians stranded in Georgia. The next hurdle is a mandatory 14- day quarantine period, which the duo has to serve before joining their wards. Shako is staying at a hotel in New Delhi for seven days before flying out for Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Vijayanagar, Karnataka, where he will quarantine for another week.
Temo left for Sonepat and will quarantine in a hotel. Given the checks put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, checking out of the airport took more than the usual time . “I landed at the airport at around 9:30pm. It took me at least five hours to reach the hotel,” Shako, personal coach of star wrestler Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Jitender Kinha (74kg), told this daily.
“I have spoken to Bajrang and Jitender and they sounded happy. But we still have to bide our time before we get back to the mat,” said Shako. Flying to India was not an easy task given the way the country is witnessing a rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases. “Authorities in Georgia were hesitant as they felt travelling to India is risky at the moment.
More importantly, the flight was meant exclusively for Indians. But the Indian Embassy in Tbilisi helped us. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) also extended the support,” added the 44-year-old. The coach, however, is not aware who will bear his expenses during his stay at Delhi’s hotel. “That will be figured out. It’s not an issue though.” Meanwhile, it was learnt that the national camp may not commence before August 15. “Wrestlers want camp after Aug 15. The talks are on with SAI and a decision will be taken soon,” said a federation official.