Finally! the monkey team comprising of Bajrang Punia, Jitender, Shako and their new member Gaurav Baliyan had hit the mat together after four months. Shako reached the Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) on Monday. Bajrang shared the picture of their first training session since the covid-19 triggered lockdown in March. He wrote, “The first practice session after the LockDown. Good and refreshing to train with my coach again shako_coach_official monkey team”.
Shako returned to India last month after getting special permission from the government. Upon arrival, he was put under a seven-days quarantine in a hotel in New Delhi. After completing the protocol, he then flew to IIS where Bajrang and Jitender had made their new training base.
Bajrang after meeting his coach said, “I am happy to reunite with my coach. Covid-19 can take a back seat now. We have work to do”.
After meeting Shako at the IIS campus, both the wrestlers were happy and quickly hugged him. Then, they picked the Georgian coach and swung him for a few seconds before capturing the happy moment.
Plan for the Tokyo Olympics
Bajrang and Jitender have been training at the Inspire Institute of Sports for past one month. In Shako’s absence, they had been working under Cuba’s 2004 Olympics champion Yandro Quintana. However, it was the Georgian who prepared the weekly training module.
Shako said that they will begin training for each opponent separately whenever they resume training together. “When we resume training we will change the characteristics of the training and will prepare for each opponent individually,” he said adding that their goal is to win India its first Olympic gold medal.
“We do not have to keep in top shape for a whole year but we need to be fit and hit the peak by the time Olympics arrive. This is the most important thing for us”.