39 more athletes added to TOPS

39 more athletes added to TOPS

The Sports Ministry on Thursday issued a fresh batch of 39 athletes to be included in its Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with some questionable choices figuring in the list.

Five of the six 400-metre runners who underwent suspension for doping offences between June 2011 and June 2013 — Priyanka Panwar, Ashwini Akkunji, Jauna Murmu, Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur — are in the list, having been named among the probables for the women’s 4x400M relay team among the 19 picked from athletics.

Interestingly, the relay team will be trained by Yuri Ogorodnik who was sacked in 2011 after these quartermilers were caught in the dope net. What is even more shocking is that Sini Jose has been included in the scheme despite not competing since February, 2011. Mandeep, Priyanka, Ashwini and Jauna have not competed so far this year.

Also, surprising was the exclusion of Jisna Mathew even from the junior 4x400 relay team that is being prepared for the 2020 Olympic Games. With her performance of 53.84 seconds at  the Doha Youth Asian Championships, she is the No 1 400M runner in India and No 7 in the world in the under-18 age group in the current lists.

The upgraded TOPS list also includes 16 from archery, two from boxing and one from shooting and swimming each.

Earlier, the Ministry had named 45 athletes in the scheme. The Ministry has already given funds of about 1.35 crores to 10 athletes so far.

DH News Service

TOP Sportspersons: Athletics (19): Seniors in 4x400m Women Relay Team: Priyanka Panwar,  Tintu Luka, Debashree Majumdar, M R Poovamma, Anilda Thomas, Ashwini Akkunji, Jauna Murmu, Sini Jose, Mandeep Kaur. Juniors in 4x400m Women Relay Team (For 2020 Olympics Development Group): Chavi Sharawat, Anju Thomas, Nirmala, Arpitha M. Race-Walking: K Ganapathy, Manish Rawat, Sandeep Kumar, Devender Singh. Discus Throw (For 2020 Olympics Development Group): Navjeet Kaur Dhillon. Shot Put: Inderjeet Singh. Archery (16): Senior Men: Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das, Jayanta Talukdar, Mangal Champia, Viswash, Ranjit Naik. Senior Women: Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi, Rimil Buruily, Laxmi Rani Majhi, Dola Banerjee, Snehal. Junior Boys (For 2020 Olympics Development Group): Sanjay Boro, Atul Verma,  Binod Swansi. Junior Girls (For 2020 Olympics Development Group): Madhu Vedwan. Boxing (2) (For 2020 Olympics Development Group): Sumit Sangwan (Men’s 81 kg); Sarjubala Devi (Women’s 48kg). Shooting (1): Chain Singh: Rifle Shooting. Swimming (1), (For 2020 Olympics Development Group): Maana Patel — 100M, 200M Backstroke.

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