SAI allows Neeraj Chopra, Vinesh Phogat to continue training in Europe ahead of Tokyo Olympics

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) sanctioned javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and wrestler Vinesh Phogat’s proposal to train in Europe till July 25.

File picture of Neeraj Chopra.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), at a meeting on Friday, sanctioned javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and wrestler Vinesh Phogat’s proposal to train in their respective locations in Europe till July 25 before they leave for Tokyo to compete in the Olympics.

“Chopra’s proposal to begin training in Uppsala, Sweden, from June 21 in continuation of his stay along with his coach Dr. Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist, in Portugal since June 6 has been sanctioned at a cost of ₹34.87 lakh. The Government has supported Neeraj to the tune of ₹1.61 crore in this Olympic cycle through the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme,” the Sports Authority of India said in a statement.

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Vinesh, who has been based in Europe since late April, got approval to continue training there till she leaves for Tokyo. This now includes a 10-day training camp in Talinn, Estonia, and 16-day camp in Budapest, Hungary. She will be assisted by her coach Woller Akos and physiotherapist Poornima Raman Ngomdir. The proposal has been sanctioned at a cost of ₹9.01 lakh. The government has so far spent ₹1.81 crores on Vinesh in this Olympic cycle.

The MOC also sanctioned the men’s 65kg freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia’s proposal to engage men’s U-23 World Champion Mirza Skhulukhia in the 70 kg class as an additional sparring partner in Vladikavkaz, Russia. He is already sparring with 2019 70kg world champion David Baev. The proposal has been sanctioned at a cost of ₹2.53 lakh. The government has so far spent ₹2.06 crores on Bajrang in this Olympic cycle.

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