Shako Bentinidis has been retained coach for Bajrang Punia while Beijing Olympics silver medallist Murad Gaidarov will train Ravi Kumar and Deepak Punia, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) announced on Wednesday.
On request of the 2019 UWW World Championships bronze medallist Bajrang, the WFI decided to bring back Bentinidis. The Georgian has helped Punia climb to the pinnacle of world rankings in 65kg.
After their scintillating debut in Nur-Sultan that saw Deepak clinching a silver in 86kg and Ravi Kumar a bronze in 57kg, the duo will now get hone their skills under the tutelage of Gaidarov keeping in mind the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallist and 2003 World Championships silver medallist, Gaidarov will help the grapplers learn not only the nuances of the game but also prepare them to win the big ticket tournaments before the Olympics.
The Belarusian will also guide the wrestlers to work on their physical strength and mental conditioning.
“WFI’s aim is to ensure each athlete preparing for the Olympics gets the best coaching and support staff. In that respect, we have ensured that our 3 best freestyle wrestlers have whatever they need and I am grateful to Tata Motors for supporting in every aspect of their training and to Sporty Solutionz for facilitating those facilities,” WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said.
Both the celebrated coaches have accepted the contracts. They are completing the formalities to join their trainees shortly.