The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) met on Wednesday to clear funding proposals regarding training, competition and equipment needs and review the performance of athletes included under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
While one new athlete in Tennis was included, Commonwealth Games gold medallist weightlifter Sanjita Chanu and tennis player Yuki Bhambri were excluded from the TOPS.
“It was decided to drop Sanjita from the TOPS as she stands suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation on doping charges,” read a Sports Authority of India statement.
Yuki was dropped because he would not be taking part in the upcoming Asian Games.
32-year-old Men’s doubles specialist Divij Sharan was included under the TOP scheme till the Asian Games. He is currently ranked 43 in Men’s doubles on the ATP tour and has improved his ranking from 59 a year ago. He has won three doubles titles since 2013.
In other decisions, a total of Rs 26.03 lakh was sanctioned by the committee to Rohan Bopanna for the use of a coach and physio for a period of 12 weeks starting 7th May. Bopanna, who is a part of India’s 2018 Asian Games squad, is a prolific doubles player and reached the semifinals of the Mixed Doubles event in the 2016 Olympics.
Moreover, a total of Rs 65.42 lakh and other costs (Air ticket, visa) were sanctioned to trap shooters Shreyasi Singh, Seema Tomar, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ankur Mittal and Shardul Vihan for their training and participating in international competition in Italy ahead of the Asian Games.
A total of Rs 1.43 lakh was approved for the purchase of ammunition for CWG 2018 gold medal winner Anish Bhanwala.
For para-sports, a total of Rs 3.16 lakh and other expenses (Air ticket, visa, insurance) were sanctioned to Para-Javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar for an 18-day training programme in Finland along with his personal coach Mahavir Prasad Saini.
At the meeting, it was also decided to sanction the entry fee (all inclusive with boarding, lodging, and travel) of Euro 700 (Rs 56,000 + air tickets) for the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia for each Para-athlete; Rohit Kumar , Vinay Kumar Lal, Aamit Kumar, Amit Kumar Saroha (with escort) and Rampal Chahar.
The committee also decided to hire the services of physiotherapist Shrikant Iyengar for four weightlifters Mirabai Chanu, Rakhi Halder, Jeremy and Pardeep Singh, for a period of five and a half months starting 15th June with an expense of Rs 1.76 lakh.
In addition, the committee ratified the approval of Rs 4.91 lakh given to squash player Joshna Chinappa for a month’s training in Bristol, United Kingdom ahead of the Asian Games.
The committee also ratified the approval of a total of Rs 9.53 lakh given to five Indian archers Abhishek Verma, V Jyothi Surekha, Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari and Bombayla Devi along with their coach Jiwanjot Singh Teja for participation in the World Cup Stage 3 Archery in the USA from June 16-25.
The sanction of Rs 3.23 lakh along with airfare was also approved to fencer Bhavani Devi for her training and competition expenses from 17th June till 15th August 2018.
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to provide assistance to India’s top athletes.(Minimal edits applied, story generated from syndicated ANI feed)