New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS): Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports' Mission Olympic Cell on Thursday approved proposals worth Rs 6.56 lakh from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme for two development group athletes, 20-year-old pistol shooter Naveen and 17-year-old recurve archer Ridhi, to assist them in the preparation for this year's Asian Games and other competitions.
The MOC sanctioned Rs 4.14 lakh to Naveen, who finished fourth in the 10m air pistol competition in the ISSF World Junior Shooting Championships in Peru. This grant will enable him secure, among equipment, a Steyr Evo 10 E Pistol and a Scatt MX-W2 wireless optical sensor.
Ridhi, part of the Indian women's team which won silver in the Asian Championships in Dhaka in November last, was sanctioned Rs 2.42 lakh toward the purchase of Hoyt Formula Velos limbs for her bow and X10 arrows. Ridhi caught the eye when she fought hard against Japan's World No. 29 Tomomi Sugimoto in the World Championships in Yankton, USA in September.
The MOC also ratified the approval of a proposal from para shooter Manish Narwal towards purchase of ammunition and board and lodging costs of his Dronacharya Award-winning coach JP Nautiyal. This proposal was worth around Rs 4 lakh.
The Ministry supports elite athletes primarily under the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) of each National Sports Federation. TOPS provides customised support to athletes in areas not covered under the ACTC and addresses unanticipated needs of the athletes as they prepare to excel in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Last month, the MOC had decided to review the TOPS support for recurve archers Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das after the National Ranking Archery Tournament in Hyderabad from January 1 to 10. Considering their below-par performances in the event, MOC decided to not include them in the TOPS list for now.
Aware of their immense contribution to raising the profile of archery in the country over the past decade a a half, MOC members, SAI officials and Archery Association of India officials reached out and shared the decision with them.
"I appreciate that SAI officials informed me before the MOC meeting itself that there was a possibility of my being excluded from the TOP Scheme. I will be motivated to return with good scores in the competitions ahead," Deepika Kumari said.
Atanu Das echoed her thoughts. "We were very disturbed that we could not get the results we wanted in the Olympic Games. And we took a break from competitive archery after the Olympic Games. I know it is a matter of time before we find the form and get back to where we belong," he said.