Home » News » Sports » TOPS Secret: The Initiative Behind Blinging Performance By Indian Contingent At Tokyo Games
1-MIN READ

TOPS Secret: The Initiative Behind Blinging Performance By Indian Contingent At Tokyo Games

India's medal haul at Tokyo Paralympics (Twitter)

India's medal haul at Tokyo Paralympics (Twitter)

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports started their flagship program called Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in 2014

Tokyo Paralympics 2020 saw the largest Indian contingent ever, with 54 players participating in various sporting events. It also saw a collection of impeccable performances by Indian athletes with 19 medals – 5 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze – in the tally. In the Olympics, too, India saw the best haul of seven medals, with the Indian hockey team winning a medal after 41 years and the first-ever gold in athletics bagged by javelin star Neeraj Chopra.

The success of the players showcases a pious combination of dedication and hard work. However, the victorious performance was also the result of more extensive support by the Indian government and the timely assistance provided to players, creating a level-playing field for athletes in both games.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports started a flagship program called Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in 2014. The program ramped up its mechanics in 2018, after which the government spent roughly Rs8.2 crore on the para-athletes and provided athlete-specific assistance such as foreign training, coaching camp, equipment, and a stipend of Rs50,000 per month for each player.

TOPS scheme also categorized specific sport as ‘High-priority Sports’ among the 13 games that TOPS aided. The category comprised of Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Hockey, and Wrestling. The athlete-specific aid did churn out good results, and the recent games were a clear example of that.

Double medalist Avani Lekhara had a computerized digital target at her house, which was funded by Sports Ministry. The ministry also supported the costs of her very expensive air rifle, along with its ammunition and other accessories.

Silver medalist Bhavina Patel was provided with a Table Tennis robot called Butterfly- Amicus Prime and an Ottobock Wheelchair, which helped the TT star immensely to improve her game. The financial aid for the equipment was provided by the sports ministry in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

TOPS also collaborated with numerous private entities and initiatives like GoSports and Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ). “The government kept a close check on what we’ve done for each athlete and made sure no discrepancy existed,” Deepthi Bopaiah, Executive Director, GoSports, told Indian Express.

As a result of all the efforts by both government and private entities under the flagship TOPS, India showed marvelous results in the international games. Tokyo has set the momentum in order, and the only way ahead is up.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Assembly Elections Live Updates here.

first published:September 07, 2021, 16:24 IST