List of Boxers and Shooters selected as a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for Olympics 2020
The Sports Authority of India’s Mission Olympic Cell has included 10 boxers as a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for Olympics 2020. The boxers included under TOPS were: MC Marykom (women’s 51 kg), Amit Panghal (men’s 52 kg) , Sonia Chahal (women’s 57 kg), Neeraj (women’s 57 kg), Nikhat Zareen (women’s 51 kg), Kavinder Singh Bisht (men’s 57 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (women’s 69 kg), Vikas Krishan (men’s 75 kg), Shiva Thapa (men’s 63 kg) and Manish Kaushik (men’s 63 kg). India has so far won two medals in Boxing at the Olympics, Vijender Singh won bronze in 2008 while Marykom won bronze in 2012.
In the meeting held on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, and chaired by DG, SAI, Sandip Pradhan, the athletes were chosen on the basis of the following parameters:
– Global performance trends from most recent Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games and Asian Championships
– Performance of competing international counterparts (athletes) in the last three years
– High performance age of a typical Olympic medalist specific to each event
– Performance of Indian athletes in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and their progression chart
– Feedback from NSF, High Performance Managers, Project Officers and Coaches, wherever applicable
Apart from boxing, the committee has included 22-year-old Women’s 10m Air Pistol Shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal in the TOPS scheme. Deswal won a gold medal in the individual event at the recently concluded ISSF World Cup in Rio De Janeiro along with winning a silver in the mixed team event. Crucially by winning gold, she earned India an Olympic quota in this event.
Badminton star Sai Praneeth has also been included in the TOPS scheme. At the recent World Championships, Praneeth reached the semifinals and thus became the first Indian men’s singles player in 36 years to achieve this feat and win a medal. With a country eligible to send two shuttlers per singles event, Praneeth has risen to 15 in the world and is currently ranked India’s number two.
Besides the selection of athletes, financial proposals worth Rs 1.4 crores were cleared in 11 sporting disciplines, including, weightlifting, wrestling, shooting, archery, table tennis, athletics, badminton, tennis, para-badminton, para-archery and para-shooting.
The MOC also the salient features of the long-term developmental plan for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Scientific testing for 21 athletes selected under the developmental group is going to take place in two batches on 15th September and 30th September.
Discussions were held about the high-level committee for the Tokyo Olympics that is already in place and is headed by Union Minister of Youth and Sports, Kiren Rijiju. The committee will look into arrangements for the Olympics addressing issues such as facilities for support staff, creation of India House, pre-games training venues and other logistical arrangements.
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which is a scheme to provide assistance to India’s top athletes.