Sushil Kumar back in TOPS, 11 dropped

Champion wrestler Sushil was, earlier, excluded from TOPS as he was out of action.

Sushil Kumar is back to his best and after a third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, is eyeing a maiden Asian Games title.   -  PTI

Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar was today included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme for the first time in two years, while 11 sportspersons across archery, wrestling and athletics were dropped from the government-backed program after not being picked for the Asian Games.

Champion wrestler Sushil was, earlier, excluded from TOPS as he was out of action. He is back to his best and after a third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, is eyeing a maiden Asian Games title.

Also included in the scheme is 24-year-old woman wrestler Pooja Dhanda, who had won the silver medal in the 57 kg category at the 2018 CWG. “She is considered a strong medal prospect for the Asian Games,” read a statement from Sports Authority of India.

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Sumit Malik, the gold medal winner in the 125 kg category at the Gold Coast Games, has received an extension under TOPS, having originally been included only till the completion of CWG.

The Mission Olympics Cell (MOC), which met today, has also decided to drop wrestlers — Lalita, Sarita, Parveen Rana and Satyawart Kadian — from the TOPS as they will not compete at the Asian Games in August-September.

“The committee also sanctioned the extension by a week of Bajrang Punia’s training under TOPS in Georgia so that he can participate in the Tbilisi Grand Prix,” the statement read further.

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In archery, the MOC has dropped recurve archers Jayanta Talukdar and Laishram Bombayla Devi from the scheme as they both have not been picked for the Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

The 4x400m relay runner Anilda Thomas has also been dropped from TOPS, largely due to her absence from training. Compound archers — Chinna Raju Srither and Lily Chanu Paonam, Parveena and Divya Dhayal — too have been excluded as they are not part of the Games squad.

In tennis, the MOC has sanctioned ₹30.70 lakh, plus air fare, for tennis players Divij Sharan and Sumit Nagal, who both will be at the Asian Games.

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The committee has also cleared ₹4.19 lakh for long-distance para-sport runner Ankur Dhama to continue his coaching camp in Ooty for the Asian Para Games.

A total of ₹5.22 lakh has been approved for javelin thrower and two-time Paralympic gold medal winner Devendra Jhajaria to continue his coaching camp at SAI’s Netaji Subhas Western Centre in Gandhinagar for a period of 124 days till August 3.

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