CHENNAI: GRECO-ROMAN foreign coach Temo Kazarashvili was staring at an uncertain future since his arrival in India last week. The Georgian was struggling to find a place to stay after completing a seven-day quarantine at a hotel in Sonepat, Haryana on Friday.
This was when star wrestler Bajrang Punia came to his rescue and offered him his flat to move in. Usually, the responsibility of a foreign coach lies with the employer, which in this case is SAI. However, the federation insisted that the coach should have waited for permission from his employer or WFI before flying down to India.
Temo turned 61 in May and this might have made the authorities wary especially in the wake of pandemic. “Yes, he shifted to my flat today (Friday). We have also stocked up groceries and other essential items at the flat so that he doesn’t need to go out,” Bajrang, who is training at the Inspire Institute of Sport in Vijayanagar, told this daily. Incidentally, the 65kg wrestler’s coach Shako Bentinidis and Temo arrived in the country boarding the same extradition flight meant for Indians stranded in Georgia on July 30.
Shako served his seven-day mandatory quarantine period at a hotel in New Delhi before flying out for Vijayanagar. The WFI said that it made the arrangement for the coach’s stay in Jalandhar. "He arrived without intimating the federation and SAI. Even the national camp has not resumed in the country. We have asked him to go to Jagjit Singh Academy in Jalandhar.
The academy is being run by SAI under Khelo India. He will train wrestlers there and when the national camp resumes, he can join the Indian team," WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told this daily. The federation sacked women's coach Andrew Cook in June apart from asking Shako to take a pay cut in the wake of the pandemic.
Temo though remained unscathed amid all the upheavals as his contract was recently extended till September next year, but the developments might have made him jittery and forced him to rush back to ensure he keeps his job.