The Sports Authority of India’s Mission Olympic Cell has included 10m air rifle shooter, Divyansh Singh Panwar, in the Core Group of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). Panwar was earlier part of the Developmental Group of TOPS. The decision to include Panwar in the Core Group was taken based on his recent performance, which includes a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing which has earned him an Olympic quota.
In the meeting chaired by Ms. Neelam Kapur, Director General, Sports Authority of India and attended by representatives of various sport federations, the following proposals from athletes of 7 sports to the tune of over Rs 85 lakh were also cleared:
1) Weightlifting: Purchase of equipment to assist the preparation of three weightlifters Mirabai Chanu, RV Rahul and Jeremy Lalrinnunga was sanctioned by the committee.
2) Shooting: Proposals for the purchase of equipment and ammunition for pistol shooters Saurabh Chaudhary, Anish Bhanwala and Abhishek Verma were cleared.
3) Badminton: Combined proposal of three players Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma to hire Md Siyadath Ullah as coach and SR Ganesh as physical trainer was cleared.
4) Athletics: The committee sanctioned the participation of middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson at the Sollentuna Grand Prix in Sweden to be held on 18 June, 2019.
5) Para-Badminton: The committee sanctioned a training camp in Lucknow and participation in Forza Irish Para-Badminton International 2019 for Pramod Bhagat, Suhas Yathiraj, Sukant Kadam, Manoj Sarkar and Tarun.
6) Para-Shooting: Financial assistance to procure equipment for shooters Manish Narwal, Deepender, Singhraj and Avani Lekhara was sanctioned.
7) Para-Athletics: Financial assistance for training (India and overseas), participation in competition and purchase of equipment for Sharad Kumar, Sandeep Chaudhary, Sumit Antil, Rinku Hooda, Amit Saroha and Veerender was cleared.
The MOC also discussed the salient features to develop a long-term development plan for athletes for Olympic 2024 and 2028. It was agreed that the athletes need to be supported on a long-term basis by dovetailing with the Khelo India Talent Identification Scheme. In particular, emphasis must be given to coaching, sport science support and foreign exposure.
Inputs will be sought from all national sporting federations on the draft policy. The final policy for the development of athletes under the Developmental Group of TOPS would be approved by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.