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Wrestling

Wrestling federation president blames Vinesh Phogat's coach for using TOPS money to train wife

Vinesh Phogat's coach Woller Akos is being held accountable for the poor show of the star wrestler at Tokyo Olympics by the WFI President.

Vinesh Phogat with coach Woller Akos
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Vinesh Phogat with coach Woller Akos (Source: Scroll)

By

Md Imtiaz

Updated: 2021-08-07T14:15:15+05:30

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh has put the blame on Vinesh Phogat's coach Woller Akos for the unexpected flop show by the wrestler in the Tokyo Olympics.

In an interaction with the Times of India, Singh shot fires over Akos' training method that has cost India a sure-shot medal in wrestling. He told the publication, "Vinesh trained for two years in Hungary. Her coach Woller Akos is also a Hungarian. Her coach has fooled us with his coaching methods. He was imparting training to his wrestler wife Marianna Sastin along with Vinesh in Hungary. His wife also qualified but lost in the first round.

It looks like Vinesh's coach was taking money from TOPS division to train his wife."Vinesh received financial support worth Rs 1.3 crore from the Indian government's Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) program in the Olympic cycle between 2016 and 2021. Vinesh's hopes of winning an Olympic medal were dashed after she lost the quarterfinal bout of women's freestyle 53kg event to Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya. Earlier, Vinesh had qualified for the quarterfinals after defeating Sweden's Sofia Magdalena Mattsson 7-1 in the 1/8 finals.

Vanesa won against the 26-year-old Indian by pinning her on the mat. Later, Vanesa lost her semi-final to China's Qinyu Pang on criteria after scores were tied 2-2, a result that brought curtains on Vinesh's campaign at the Tokyo Games.

Shocked by Vinesh's exit, the WFI president has now called for a review. Before the Olympics, Singh had said if India wins only two medals in wrestling at Olympics, it will be considered a failure.

Considering the circumstances now, India could win a maximum of two medals in wrestling. After Ravi Dahiya's silver, India would have another shot when wrestler Bajrang Punia plays his bronze-medal bout later today.
In an interaction with The Tribune, Singh blamed sports NGOs, including Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) and JSW, and even the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), for spoiling the wrestlers.Singh said that the WFI was blindsided towards the prolonged training stints abroad for Vinesh, supported by OGQ, and Bajrang, who is supported by JSW.
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