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Commonwealth Games medallists to be a part of SAI's TOPS scheme

Manu Bhaker, Mehuli Ghosh, Anish Bhanwala, Gaurav Solanki and Hussam Mohammad have been included in the scheme.

ANALYST
News 26 Apr 2018, 15:36 IST
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Manu Bhaker
Manu
Bhaker

What’s the story?

Commonwealth Games gold medallists Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala have been included in the Target Olympic Scheme (TOPS), an initiative of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Sports Ministry. The young guns will be backed by special government funding.

In case you didn’t know…

Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala set new records at the CWG Down Under. 16-year-old Bhaker and Bhanwala, 15, both became India’s youngest athletes to bag the gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, a couple of weeks ago.

Heart of the matter

TOPS is a scheme under National Sports Development Fund of Department of Sports under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The SAI has been swift to retort to the performances at Gold Coast and strive to support the athletes who can achieve more medals feats for the country at more competitive and international platforms such as the Asian Games and the Olympics.

Manu and Anish are not the only shooters that are to be included in the scheme. Mehuli Ghosh, Om Prakash Mitharwal, and Shahzar Rizvi have also been named among those listed for TOPS.

SAI Director General, Neelam Kapur said that the governing body is in talks with the federations to make the best use of the available funds. Kapur also explained that athletes who display potential are the ones who need more support and therefore, have been included in the TOPS.

Apart from the named sportspersons, there are a couple of boxers who have been incorporated in the TOPS scheme. Gaurav Solanki, who won Gold at Gold Coast, along with Hussamuddin Mohammad, who seized a Bronze for India, have also been included.

What’s next?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to meet with the Gold Coast medal winners on May 1, 2018. Having won 26 Gold medals, 20 Silver and Bronze, the Indian contingent placed third on the total medal tally charts, with England wrapping up at the second position and hosts, Australia topping the table.

Author’s take

TOPS is a brilliant scheme for athletes who are oozing with potential and promise. Especially for those who made India proud at the Games earlier this month. It is indeed a superb initiative taken by the authorities for the betterment of the future in sports and athletics and it is nice to see youngsters like Manu, Anish and Mehuli being included in the scheme.

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