As many as 20 new sportspersons were on Monday added to the list of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), taking the total number of athletes to be funded by the Sports Ministry for the 2024 Paris Games to 148.
Seven Olympic and six Paralympic disciplines were identified for support under TOPS at a meeting of the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Sports Ministry. More athletes will be added to the TOPS list in MOC’s next meeting later this month.
The MOC, which was re-constituted earlier this month to include seven more former international athletes, met here for the first time after the Tokyo Olympics.
The approved athletes were from cycling, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling in Olympic sports. Archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, equestrian, fencing, golf, gymnastics, judo, rowing and tennis will be taken up in the next meeting later this month. The para athletes approved on Monday were from archery, athletics, badminton, shooting, swimming and table tennis.
“Though planning and preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris started much earlier, the MOC meeting marks the formal start of the shortened Olympic cycle,” the Sports Ministry said in a release. “As many as seven athletes have earned elevation from the Khelo India Scheme and are among the new inductees to TOPS Development Group.”
The ministry said the lists of athletes for the Core and Development Groups were collectively drawn up by the TOPS team and the respective National Sports Federations.
“It entailed meticulous research, evaluation and projections of the athletes’ performances before being placed before the MOC for consideration,” it said.
It was also agreed upon that the MOC would meet every fortnight. The recently-reconstituted MOC offered suggestions for preparations for the 2024 Paris Games so that India can build on the gains of Tokyo Olympics where the country won seven medals, including a gold.
TOPS is the Sports Ministry’s flagship programme to add to the support given to the athletes under the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition.
The list of athletes to be supported under TOPS:
Cycling: Development Group: Esow Alben, Keithellakpam Jemsh Singh, Laitonjam Ronaldo Y Rojit Singh and E David Beckham (new inductee).
Sailing: Core Group: Vishnu Saravanan, Varun Thakkar, KC Ganapathy and Nethra Kumanan.
Shooting: Core Group: Divyansh Singh Panwar, Aishwary Pratap Tomar, Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Elavenil Valarivan, Anjum Moudgil, Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat Vijayveer Sidhu.
Development Group: Yasahwini Deswal and Chinki Yadav, Niraj Kumar, Sartaj Singh Tiwana, Dhanush Srikanth, Shahu Tushar Mane, Hriday Hazarika, Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil, Parth Makhija, Anish Bhanwala, Adarsh Singh, Udayveer Sidhu, Sarabjot Singh, Naveen, Shiva Narwal, Kynan Chenai, Lakshay Sheoran, Vivaan Kapoor, Gurjoat Singh, N Gaayathri, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nishchal, Ayushi Podder, Shreya Agarwal, Shriyanka Sadarangi, Zeena Khitta, Abhindnya Ashok Patil, Tejaswini, Esha Singh, Rhythm Sangwan, Kirti Gupta, Manisha Kheer, Darshana Rathore, Kartikki Singh Shaktawat, Areeba Khan, Swapnil Suresh Kusale, Arjun Babuta, Anantjeet Singh Naruka and Nisha Kanwar.
Swimming – Core Group: Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj.
Table Tennis – Core Group: A Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee, Harmeet Desai and Archana Kamat.
Development Group: Manav Thakkar, Manush Shah and Ayikha Mukherjee, Payas Jain, SFR Snehit, Swatiska Ghosh, Diya Chitale, Suhana Saini and Sreeja Akula.
Weightlifting – Core Group: Jeremy Lalrinnunga and Mirabai Chanu.
Development Group: Achinta Sheuli, Soumya Sunil Dalvi, Garud Harshada Sharad, Kolli Varalakshmi Pavani Kumari, Mangkhya Boni, R Arockiya Alish, Sanker Sargar, Gogoi Sidhanta, Charu Pesi, Markio Tario and Sorkhaibam Bindyarani Devi, N Tomchou Meetei, Niraj Pradhan, Akanksha Vyavahare, Shivani Yadav, Kajol Sargar, Jyoti Yadav, Komal Kohar, Sarika Shingare and Ajay Singh.
Wrestling – Core Group: Ravi Kumar, Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik and Sonam Malil.
Development Group: Sunil Kumar, Ravi, Ravinder, Gourav Baliyan, Sajan, Sanju Devi, Aman, Aman, Rohit, Yash Tushir, Sandeep Singh, Deepak, Anirudh Kumar, Arjun Halakurki, Sandeep, Ashu, Hanni Kumari, Sarita, Nisha, Bhateri and Bipasha.
Para Sports – Core Group:
Archery: Harvinder Singh; Athletics: T Mariyappan, Sharad Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Sandeep Chaudhary, Sumit Antil, Sundar Singh Gurjar, Amit Saroha, Devendra Jhajharia, Nishad Kumar, Navdeep and Yogesh Kathunia; Badminton: Suhas Yathiraj, Krishna Nagar, Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar, Tarun Dhillon and Parul Parmar; Shooting: Avani Lekhara, Manish Narwal and Singhraj Adana; Swimming: Suyash Jadhav; Table Tennis: Bhavina Patel.