Two Odisha athletes included in TOP scheme

Bhubaneswar: Two prominent sportspersons from Odisha have been included in the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme formulated by the ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (department of Sports) for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

They are sprinter Jauna Murmu and archer Ranjit Nayak.

The ministry has formulated the TOP scheme under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The focused disciplines will be Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling, Shooting and Yatching.

The selected athletes will be provided financial assistance for their customized training at institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support. The benchmark for selection of athletes under the scheme will be of international standards. There will be annual/semi-annual review of performance of these athletes.

A committee, namely ‘TOP Scheme Elite Athletes Identification Committee’, has been constituted under the chairmanship of Anurag Thakur, MP, for laying down elaborate norms for selection of the right candidates, review of performance and operation of the scheme.

The committee will have other members like Rahul Dravid, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra and MC Mary Kom. The committee, after detailed deliberations at a meeting on April 28, 2015, has decided on athletes in the above mentioned disciplines for assistance under the scheme.

Sources in the ministry said 36 athletes have so far agreed to join the scheme of which 20 have submitted their programmes. Some of these programmes have been approved and assistance has started flowing to the athletes.