New Delhi [India], December 13 (ANI): A total of 148 athletes, including 20 new inductees, in seven Olympic disciplines and six Paralympic disciplines, have been identified for support under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) at a meeting of the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Monday.
The MOC approved lists in Cycling, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling as well as Para Sports (Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis). Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Equestrian, Fencing, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Rowing, and Tennis will be taken up in the next meeting later this month.
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. As many as seven athletes have earned elevation from the Khelo India Scheme and are among the new inductees to the TOPS Development Group.
The recently-reconstituted MOC, which includes seven former athletes as new members, offered suggestions for preparations for the Paris Olympic Games so that India can build on the gains of Tokyo2020 where Indians won seven medals. TOPS is the Ministry's flagship programme to add to support given under the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition.
The lists of athletes for the TOPS 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 was also agreed that the MOC would meet every fortnight.
The list of athletes who will be supported under TOPS are:
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. (Development Group to be taken up in the next meeting).
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. (ANI)