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Tokyo Olympics: SAI sacks India’s Greco Roman wrestling expert

Sports Lounge Staff



New Delhi: India’s Greco Roman expert Temo Kasarashvili of Georgia has been sacked for non-performance of the Indian wrestlers, especially as no one could qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Friday.

“Kasarashvili contract with the SAI was from February 2019 till the Olympics Games. But Kasarashvili’s contract has been terminated following the recommendation from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Kasarashvili has been relieved of his duties,” said the SAI statement.

The foreign coach was receiving a monthly salary of $4,000 (Rs 2.90 lakh approximately).

Four years ago, India’s Hardeep Singh (98 kg) and Ravinder Khatri (85 kg) had qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Greco Roman category.

But in the 2019 and 2021 Olympic qualification period none of the elite Indian Greco Roman wrestlers could qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, to be held from July 23 to August 8.

A national team coach said that an opportunity went abegging in April and May.

“India’s elite Greco Roman wrestlers missed a chance to win Olympic quota places in the Asian Olympic qualification tournament in Almaty in April. The national Greco Roman team also failed to grab an opportunity at the World Olympic qualification tournament in Sofia in May,” he said.

Gurpreet Singh of Punjab in the men’s 77kg and Asian champion Sunil Kumar of Haryana in men’s 87kg were in good form, but both couldn’t deliver goods at the right time, said the coach.

“We were expecting both Singh and Kumar to win the Olympic quota places but it was bad luck,” he said.

Eight Indian freestyle wrestlers, including four women, have qualified for the Olympics.

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