Coach shift continues in the Wrestling world with Bajrang Punia being the latest one
Haryana -India’s star wrestler Bajrang Punia has split with his long-time coach Shako Bentinidis under whom he had won Bronze for the nation at the 2020 Tokyo games, Gold at the 2018 Asian Games, and a bronze medal at the World Championship.
The pair broke many records for India but as the things are looking now, the Olympian has overgrown the style of the coach and now seeks to hire the Olympic medalist Andriy Stadnik if everything goes in order.
Many believe that the reason for the split is that the 27-year-old is continuing to suffer from his perennial leg defense technique, which has often led him to cost the match against a weaker opponent.
While talking to the PTI, Punia said that he is indeed looking for a coach and will announce the name when everything has been decided. “There is nothing wrong with Shako, I learned a lot from him but a new coach can be tried for better results,” he added.
Punia did not reveal any details regarding the split but or the reason behind it, the Wrestling Federation of India, however, made it clear that he was not happy with the way Bentinidis carried out his job. A similar reason was given when Sushil Kumar had hired another coach for himself.
The statement by the federation states that they have been told that Shako is not properly attending the athlete, especially from the time he suffered an injury in Russia before the Tokyo Olympics.
The new Ukrainian coach in talks for the role is the husband of Maria Stadnik, a four-time Olympic medallist and two time World Champion and one of the most successful Wrestlers in World history. As per the current development, Punia has already approached the person in talks and even Stadnik seems to be equally excited to work with the Indian athlete.
Only hurdle for the Indian wrestler is that the Ukrainian coach is running for the Ukrainian Federation elections and if he happens to win, it will not be possible for him to train Bajrang Punia. This is not the first time that the Indian side has resorted to changing the coach. Unhappy with personal development and results, many wrestlers have blamed their coaches and asked the federations to change the training pattern. Be it Vinesh Phogat or Sushil Kumat, they all have demanded separate coaches for them.