The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) decided to approve the Indian Men’s Hockey team, comprising 18 players selected for the Asian Games, as part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) here in a meeting on Wednesday.
Under this scheme, the hockey team will receive a monthly allowance of Rs.50, 000 per team member.
The decision was taken in view of the recent improvement in the performance of the men’s hockey team under the newly appointed coach Harendra Singh.
It was also decided that the women’s Hockey team would be considered for inclusion under the TOPS after review of their performance in the upcoming World Cup and the Asian Games, 2018.
The MOC also reviewed the performance of athletes included under the TOPS.
Boxer Sarjubala Devi received an extension in the scheme while four athletes, three from wushu and one from judo, were dropped due to below-par performance and non-inclusion in India’s Asian Games squad.
The decision to clear funding proposals regarding training, competition and equipment needs was also taken at the meeting.
In gymnastics, Rs 7.76 lakhs has been sanctioned for the month-long training program of Pranati Nayak, a member of India’s Asian Games squad, for her training in Uzbekistan.
Other two gymnasts, Ashish Kumar and Aruna Budda Reddy, were sanctioned Rs 14 Lakhs for the training camp in Belgium. Both the gymnasts were selected in the Asian Games squad.
In tennis, Rs 12.57 lakhs has been sanctioned for Ramkumar Ramanathan for his training, competition and equipment expenses leading up to the Asian Games.
In archery, Rs 11.48 Lakhs has been sanctioned for the purchase of archery equipment for three Compound archers- Trisha Deb, Rajat Chauhan and Jyothi Surekha Vennam- and one Recurve archer Promila Daimary. All four have been selected for India’s Asian Games squad.
Further, Rs 4.04 Lakhs has been sanctioned for the engagement of Italian athlete Sergio Pagni to train India’s compound archers for a period of 10 days at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Sonepat center ahead of the Asian Games.
In wrestling, a two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has been sanctioned Rs 6.62 lakhs for this training program which will also include two sparring partners and one physiotherapist. Kumar is presently training in Georgia ahead of the Asian Games.
Rs 3.22 Lakhs has been sanctioned for Bajrang Punia and Sumit for a 14-day training camp and participation in a Wrestling tournament in Turkey.
In Judo, Rs 3.55 Lakhs has been sanctioned for Indian judokas Avtar Singh and Vijay Kumar Yadav for their training, competition and equipment expenses ahead of the Asian Games.
The committee also decided to exclude Tulika Mann from the TOPS scheme due to her recent below-par performances.
On a related note, Asian Games are slated to be held from August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.