While the whole nation is applauding the efforts of Pullela Gopichand, the coach of Rio Olympic silver medal winner PV Sindhu, there’s hardly any recognition for Kuldeep Malik, the coach of bronze medalist wrestler Sakshi Malik. He remains to be an unsung hero but he does not mind at all.
Dhyan Chand awardee Malik, who is chief coach of the country’s women wrestling squad. He considers Sakshi’s achievement is the biggest reward he can get as it has made 1.3 billion people proud.
While Sakshi is being showered with felicitations, awards and cash prizes, there is barely any reward declared for Kuldeep, not even from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). However, the Haryana government declared a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for him.
The former Bhim Award winner was also coaching Vinesh Phogat, the champion wrestler who had to lose out on her medal hope owing to a ligament injury. Kuldeep believes Phogat will recover soon and will rise in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Kuldeep has expressed willingness to give free coaching to women wrestlers if the state government opened a wrestling academy.
He has assured that Sakshi won’t lose her focus after tasting success at Rio. He will make sure that she is not carried away by the felicitations and popularity she is receiving. He will make Sakshi a champion wrestler.