Unhappy with Indian wrestler’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics, Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has criticised sports NGOs like Olympic Gold Quest, JSW and even the government’s Target Olympics Podium Scheme.
India have won just one medal in the sport so far, Ravi Dahiya’s silver in the men’s 57kg freestyle. India could add another medal to their tally if Bajrang Punia wins bronze. However, it would mean that India would only be able to match its best-ever performance in wrestling at the Olympics if Bajrang wins.
“JSW, OGQ and in some way even TOPS have ruined our athletes,” Singh told The Tribune.
“They do not do anything at the grassroots and just pick up the big talents. And the athletes that do not qualify, they dump them,” he added.
Singh felt the federation was blindsided about Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia’s stints abroad for training that were sponsored by the NGOs. The WFI president added that these tours didn’t benefit the wrestlers.
“Vinesh stayed in Hungary with her coach (Woller Akkos) and as far as we know there aren’t good sparring partners in her weight class,” Singh added.
India have so far won five medals at the Tokyo Olympics and will hope to match or even better their best-ever tally at Olympic Games. All hopes are now pinned on Punia and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.
Read his full quotes here