Vinesh Phogat has reached the Games village and will begin her Olympics campaign on August 5. The Indian wrestler is one of the favorites for gold in the 53 kg women’s wrestling. When she steps on the mat, Vinesh Phogat will have her most trustworthy comrade in the corner, her Hungarian coach Woller Akos. However, that would not have happened had it not been for Hungary's Olympic Committee and the Wrestling Federation.
As per the Tokyo Olympic committee guidelines, the number of officials traveling to the Olympics cannot be more than one-third of the athletes’ contingent. This meant both Bajrang Punia’s coach Shako Bentinidis and Akos could have missed the Olympics.
Thankfully, the Hungarian coach got the accreditation through the Hungary Olympic Committee. This allowed him to reach the Games village with the Hungary team.
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, a wrestling federation of India (WFI) official said:
“It would have been difficult for us had it not been for his Hungary accreditation. But with this, both Shako and Akos along with the national coaches can travel to Tokyo.”
Will Woller Akos be allowed to sit in Vinesh Phogat’s corner?
There are concerns about whether Akos will be allowed to sit by Vinesh Phogat’s corner during the bouts. The WFI said they had sorted permission from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on the matter who gave it a thumbs up.
Additionally, if the wrestler, in this case Vinesh Phogat, has no problem then there shouldn’t be any issue during the Olympics.
“We had put in a request to IOA for this route and they agreed. Also, the Hungary Olympic Committee has no problem with it. So, with both NOCs and Vinesh Phogat ready, there should not be any problem,” the WFI official said.
Vinesh Phogat has been training under him since before the 2018 Asian Games. The Hungarian coach has played an instrumental role in helping the wrestler move up in the weight category from 48 kg to 53 kg comfortably.
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The pair have been an unstoppable force this year. Vinesh Phogat has won a gold medal in every competition she has competed in 2021 in the build-up to the Olympics. Given her current form, she will be a big favorite to finish on the podium.