SAI shortlists 258 athletes in 12 disciplines for Junior TOPS Junior

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Wednesday shortlisted 258 athletes from across 12 sporting disciplines for support through Target Olympic Podium Scheme Developmental Group, also known as Junior TOPS.

The support will be extended through a group/systems approach and a monthly out of pocket allowance of Rs 25,000 will be given to every athlete.

Of the 12 disciplines, 16 athletes have been shortlisted in athletics, 34 in archery, 27 in badminton, four in cycling, seven in table tennis, 70 in shooting, 14 in swimming, 11 in judo, 36 in boxing, 16 in weightlifting, five in rowing and 18 in wrestling.

The SAI’s Mission Olympic Cell shortlisted the athletes, including the 85 named before the COVID-19 lockdown. They will be groomed for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

A SAI statement further said the formal induction of the athletes in the development group would be undertaken after setting an effective monitoring mechanism.

SAI, in its review meeting, also decided that performance benchmarks will be established for individual athlete for the next four years, in consultation with all stakeholders, including the athlete, coach, High Performance Directors/ Chief National Coach of National Sports Federations.