In a departure from the norm, the Mission Olympic Cell on Wednesday included the entire Indian hockey team in the TOP scheme, rewarding the players for their silver medal-winning performance at the Champions Trophy.
Athletes from different sports have been included in Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) individually but it is first instance that an entire team has been made beneficiary of the financial assistance scheme.
Each of the 18 members of the hockey team will now get a monthly allowance of Rs 50,000. The men’s hockey team, under new coach Harendra Singh, ended runner-up at the Breda event after losing the final to Australia in a thrilling penalty shootout.
A press release from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said that the women’s hockey team’s inclusion in the TOPS would depend on the review of its performance in the upcoming World Cup and the Asian Games.
Among the other notable decisions taken, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar has been sanctioned Rs 6.62 lakh for hiring two sparring partners and a physiotherapist for his ongoing training stint in Georgia.
Another Rs 3.22 lakh has been sanctioned for Bajrang Punia and Sumit for their training and tournament participation in Turkey.
Boxer Sarajubala Devi got an extension under after qualifying for the Asian Games.
Among the other sports, gymnastics received a total grant of Rs 21.76 lakh. It includes Rs. 7.76 lakh for the month-long training program of Pranati Nayak in Uzbekistan. Another Rs 14 lakh (approximate) was sanctioned for the 32-day program including a training camp in Belgium for Ashish Kumar and Aruna Budda Reddy.
Davis Cupper Ramkumar Ramanathan will get Rs 12.57 lakh for his training (under coach Angel Gimenez Alonso), competition and equipment expenses leading up to the Asian Games.
A total of Rs 11.48 lakh has been budgeted for the purchase of archery equipment for three compound archers Trisha Deb, Rajat Chauhan and Jyothi Surekha Vennam and one recurve archer Promila Daimary.
Further, Rs 4.04 lakh has been sanctioned for the engagement of Italian coach Sergio Pagni to train India’s compound archers for a period of 10 days at the SAI Sonepat centre ahead of the Asian Games.
The four compound archers who will be trained are Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan, Trisha Deb and Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
Judokas Avtar Singh and Vijay Kumar Yadav will get Rs 3.55 lakh for their training, competition (to be accompanied by coach Yashpal Solanki) 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.
However there was bad news for Wushu as Uchit Sharma, Arupama Devi and Budha Chandra have been excluded from the TOPS due to below par performance and non-inclusion in the Asian Games squad.