94 athletes included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme

Sep 14: Preparation for Olympic Games is an ongoing process. Participation in Olympics is through qualification and India sent its largest contingent ever for participation in Olympics in 2016.

In order to improve India’s performance at Olympics and Paralympics, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports started the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in September 2014. This was revamped in April 2018 to have a technical support team for managing the TOPS athletes and providing holistic support. The scheme is fully functional and has been extending all requisite support to probable athletes identified for the Tokyo-2021,Paris-2024 and Los Angles-2028 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games including foreign training, international competition, equipment and coaching camp besides monthly stipend of Rs.50,000/- for each athlete.At present, 94 athletes are included in the TOPS.

High priority category of sports discipline has been identified to put focus on and incentivize those sports disciplines played in the Olympics in which India has won medals in the last conducted Asian Games as well as Commonwealth Games or in which India has good chance of winning medals in the upcoming Olympics of 2024 (Paris) and 2028 (Los Angeles). Presently, nine sports disciplines viz., (i) Athletics, (ii) Badminton (iii) Hockey (iv)Shooting (v) Tennis (vi) Weightlifting (vii) Wrestling, (viii) Archery and (ix) Boxing have been categorised as ‘High Priority’.

Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), which covers the junior and sub-junior athletes also, is a dynamic exercise, wherein review of performance is done periodically fixing targets and intermediate milestones for individual athletes; and the sportspersons who fail to achieve the targets despite providing additional support and adequate time are dropped from the scheme.

Further, on the basis on key performanceindicators brought out by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) incollaboration with the National Sports Federations(NSFs), Coaches and other stakeholders, aperiodic performance review is conducted forall athletes under the Scheme.

This information was given by Union Minister of State (IC) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri KirenRijiju in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.