'Modi govt's policy for athletes led to Olympic medals'

Modi govt's 'TOPS' policy for athletes led to India winning its best-ever tally in Olympics, says Sarbananda Sonowal

He said the 'Target Olympic Podium Scheme' (TOPS) was started in September 2014 under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal with Prime Minister Modi. Credit: PTI Photo

The Modi government's 'TOPS' policy to help athletes that was started in 2014 led to the country winning its best-ever tally in Olympics and its first gold in athletics, Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Saturday.

He said the 'Target Olympic Podium Scheme' (TOPS) was started in September 2014 under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur led the selection panel comprising experts to search for potential medal winners, said Sonowal who was the sports minister till 2017 in the first dispensation of the Modi government before becoming the chief minister of Assam.

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Sonowal said under this scheme the government provided financial assistance, training, coaching and medical help whenever required to athletes and sportspersons.

He further said the main target of the scheme was to win medals in 2020 Olympics.

Debutant javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra shattered several glass ceilings to become the country's first gold-medallist in 13 years in the Olympics. With the addition of Chopra's gold on the last day of their competitive schedule, India signed off with seven medals in all, including two silver and four bronze