Sports Ministry includes 94 athletes for TOPS support

NEW DELHI: The Union Sports Ministry has included 94 athletes in its Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for support to probable athletes identified for the Tokyo 2021, Paris 2024 and Los Angles 2028 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. 

The requisite support that athletes coming within the TOPS scheme are provided includes foreign training, international competition, equipment and coaching camps, besides a monthly stipend of Rs 50,000 for each athlete. 

High priority category of sports discipline has been identified to put focus on and incentivize those sports disciplines played in the Olympics in which India has won medals in the last conducted Asian Games as well as Commonwealth Games, or in which India has a good chance of winning medals in the upcoming Olympics. Presently, nine sports disciplines viz., (i) Athletics, (ii) Badminton (iii) Hockey (iv) Shooting (v) Tennis (vi) Weightlifting (vii) Wrestling, (viii) Archery and (ix) Boxing have been categorised as ‘High Priority’.

TOPS, which covers the junior and sub-junior athletes also, is a dynamic exercise, wherein review of performance is done periodically fixing targets and intermediate milestones for individual athletes; and the sportspersons who fail to achieve the targets despite providing additional support and adequate time are dropped from the scheme.

Further, on the basis on key performance indicators brought out by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in collaboration with the National Sports Federations (NSFs),  coaches and other stakeholders, a periodic performance review is conducted for all athletes under the scheme.

This information was given by Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) Tuesday.