Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is set to hire professional support staff for all three categories — Men’s Free Style, Greco Roman, and Women’s team — to bolster Olympic preparations. The posts include physios, nutritionist, masseurs and mental conditioning coaches in all the above-mentioned categories. The WFI is also set to hire a professional manager for the national team.

WFI is the first Olympic sports federation in the country to offer annual contracts to the leading wrestlers across all age categories, including stipends for select grassroots players. Speaking about professionals hiring, WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said: “The federation has decided to hire professionals with a view to bring in more professionalism in teams’ functioning and operations and also ascertain accountability for individual and teams’ performances.”

“These hirings are aimed at preparing the players with a focus on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. These trained hands will closely work with the players at the Olympic preparatory camps in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Games,” he said. Experienced physiotherapist, biomechanics coach, mental conditioning trainer, and nutritionist will be accompanying the wrestlers buttressed with exposure trips abroad, ensuring world-class preparations for each of the Indian grapplers.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze winner Sakshi Malik said: “The new coaches already working with the team and now the news of the induction of professional support staff is a very significant move. This was a much-needed aspect of development and seamless training. I am happy that their presence will help and aid us to recover faster and train in more scientific ways.”

The wrestling contingent has already got its foreign coaches. Hossein Karimi from Iran is working with the FreeStyle team, Andrew Cook from the USA is coaching the Women’s team and Temo Kazarashvili from Georgia is honing the skills of the Greco Roman boys.

WFI is the only federation after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to adopt such a measure, with the single goal to provide world-class preparatory competitions for each of the Indian grapplers on the roadmap to the 2020 Olympics.