Sports Ministry approves financial assistance to Indian swimmers

The Sports Ministry has extended financial assistance to Indian swimmers, including Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj, under its TOPS and ACTC schemes to help them prepare and participate in various upcoming international competitions.

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Sports Ministry approves financial assistance to Indian swimmers including Sajan Prakash.   -  Manob Chowdhury

The Sports Ministry has extended financial assistance to Indian swimmers, including Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj, under its Target Olympic Podium (TOPS) and ACTC schemes to help them prepare and participate in various upcoming international competitions.

The assistance, granted under TOPS and Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) scheme, was approved by the ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC).

The swimmers who have been extended support are Olympians Sajan, Srihari and Maana Patel, besides young Kenisha Gupta.

While Sajan and Srihari are currently a part of the TOPS core group, Maana and Kenisha are from the TOPS development group.

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Sajan, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, has been cleared an amount of Rs 15.1 lakh (excluding pool fees and airfare), towards expenditure for training as well as participation in multiple competitions and camps. He will compete in the Danish Open in April before taking part in three Mare Nostrum events across Monaco, Barcelona and Canet in May. Sajan will then take part in a high altitude training camp at the Sierra Nevada training centre in Spain between June and July.

"We are focused towards achieving big at the Big Two meets. We have some qualifying meets in April, May and June before the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. These meets will act as preparatory competitions for us to know where we stand to peak at the right time," Sajan told SAI from his training base in Dubai.

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Srihari, who also competed in Tokyo Olympics, has been approved an assistance of Rs 22.02 lakh towards expenditure on domestic training and participation in multiple competitions.

The financial support also includes expenses for his personal coach and physiotherapist.

Srihari will take part in the French Open Swimming Championships, starting March 31 and Mare Nostrum, scheduled for May 18 to 23.

Maana and Kenisha, meanwhile, have been sanctioned Rs 3.89 lakh each for their participation in the French Open Swimming Championships, which also acts as a qualification event for the World Championships in Budapest in June.

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