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Saina, Bindra among 45 athletes for Target Olympic Podium assistance

April 28, 2015 18:09 IST
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Saina NehwalSeventeen shooters are among 45 athletes selected by the government for financial assistance under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme.

The government, on Tuesday, announced the names of the athletes under six disciplines and the amount it will spend on their training for preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The total amount is Rs 30.075 crore, of which Rs 96.80 lakh has been released so far.

The six shuttlers named are London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, P Kashyap, K Srikanth, Guru Saidutt and H S Prannoy.

According to a Sports Ministry statement, doubles players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa have also requested for inclusion in the scheme. The ministry hinted that they could be included later.

"There is provision for periodic review of performance of sportspersons, who reach the prescribed benchmark, for induction in the Scheme," the statement added.

The Sports Minister also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) which will contribute Rs 30 crore to the National Sports Development Fund for the TOP Scheme under government's initiative for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

IIFCL will contribute Rs 10 crore each year and this year the amount will be used to fund badminton.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Sports minister Sarbanada Sonowal said the selected sportspersons will get customised training at Institutes/Centers, having world class facilities and high quality support staff, under the guidance of reputed coaches.

The minister said criteria for selection included recent performance, consistency and performance viz-a-viz international standards.

Five athletes have been sanctioned an amount of Rs 1 crore and Rs 12.5 lakh. They are Vikas Gowda (athletics), Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput and Manavjit Singh Sandhu (shooting).

Top wrestlers Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Amit Kumar will get Rs 75 lakh each while Bajrang, Rahul Aware, Vinesh Phogat and Babita Kumari will get Rs 45 lakh each.

Sailors Varsha Gautam and N Aishwarya will also get Rs 45 lakh each.

Four top boxers -- MC Mary Kom (51kg), Vijender Singh (75kg), Sarita Devi (60kg) and L Devendro Singh (49kg) – will receive Rs 75 lakh each while Pinki Jangra (51kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Vikas Krishan (64kg) will get Rs 45 lakh each.

Woman discus thrower Seema Antil will get Rs 75 lakh, triple jumper Arpinder Singh, 20km  walker Khushbir Kaur and K T Irfan will get Rs 45 lakh each.

Image: Saina Nehwal

Photograph: PTI

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