A coach deserting a team in the middle of a major international competition is rarely seen, but that is precisely what India’s gymnastics coach has done in China.
Vladimir Chertkov has gone missing and the entire contingent, including the chef de mission Abhay Singh Chautala, are clueless about his whereabouts.
Speaking to HT in Guangzhou, Chautala said Chertkov wanted to attend the Opening Ceremony in jeans and a T-shirt. “But the assistant chef de mission asked him to adhere to the dress code. This infuriated him and now I have no clue where he is,” he said.
Back home secretary general of the Gymnastics Federati-on of India, Kann Singh Rathore confirmed the coach had indeed left the Games Village. “He’s flying back to India,” he told HT in New Delhi. “This is what we learnt from the support staff with the team. He did not speak to us either.” Chertkov joined as the coach last year.
On whether the gymnasts would suffer because of this, Chautala said, it’s for the federation to see. “If at all he resurfaces, we will seek an explanation from him,” he said.
(With Anupma Tripathi in New Delhi)