The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Tuesday reiterated its support to the Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes, saying that it has all along “realised India’s dream at the Olympic Games through athlete-centric development”.
The ministry, through its Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for elite athletes, has spent upwards of Rs five crore on the 15 Olympic-bound shooters.
A sum of Rs 1.02 crore has been spent on shotgun stalwart Mairaj Ahmad Khan, who was a part of the scheme from September 2017 to August 2018 and was re-inducted in December 2019 after he booked an Olympic quota place in skeet.
A sum of Rs 88.1 lakh has gone into customised support for Mairaj, who will be competing in his second Olympics, while the rest of the money has been given as ‘out-of-pocket allowance’ (OPA).
Another top shotgun shooter, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, who holds the skeet final record of 60/60 and had bagged the 2018 Asian Shotgun Championship gold, has received a total grant of Rs 73.11 lakh under the TOPS scheme since 2017. Of this amount, Rs 53 lakh have been spent on his training in Italy and Cyprus and procurement of arms and the rest given as OPA.
TOPS is a sports ministry programme, which attempts to provide assistance to the country’s top athletes and aims to add a premium to the preparations of these athletes so that they can win Olympic medals.
Names of shooters with TOPS grants in brackets: Abhishek Verma (Rifle, Rs 16.23 lakh); Saurabh Chaudhary (Pistol Rs 32.97 lakh); Yashaswini Deswal (Pistol, Rs 20.39 lakh); Manu Bhaker (Pistol, RS 29.93 lakh); Rahi Sarnobat (Pistol, Rs 27.73 lakh); Divyansh Singh Panwar (Rifle, Rs 20.35 lakh); Deepak Kumar (Rifle, Rs 35.58 lakh); Apurvi Chandela (Rifle, Rs 20 lakh); Elavenil Valarivan (Rilfe, Rs 14 lakh); Anjum Moudgil (Rifle, Rs 37.89 lakh); Sanjeev Rajput (Rifle, Rs 38.28 lakh); Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (Rifle, Rs 8 lakh); Mairaj Ahmad Khan (Shotgun, Rs 1.02 crore); Angad Vir Singh Bajwa (Shotgun, Rs 73.11 lakh); Tejaswini Sawant (Rifle, Rs 21.97 lakh).