International Nation Sports

Mission Olympic Cell meeting held, big changes likely

CHENNAI: The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) list is expected to be revised soon. There was an intense meeting of the Mission Olympic Cell in New Delhi on Friday where decisions were taken to re-draft the list based on performances and world rankings.

Their objective was to have a focus group who would be primed for Asian Games next year and the next two Olympics in 2024 and 2028.

It is understood that the members had stressed the need to focus on athletes who are likely to do well at the Asian Games and the Olympics. Some of the sports in the development group is expected to get pruned down from around 245. In core groups, there are about 105. And the core group too will see changes including some top names.

London Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom has already announced that she would like to make way for other boxers in the core group. Some big names in badminton, athletics, boxing, swimming, shooting, table tennis are likely to be dropped, especially those not performing. Changes are likely in fencing, wrestling and weightlifting, especially in the development group.

TOPS core group sportsperson gets Rs 50,000 as out of pocket allowance, while a development athlete gets Rs 25000. They, however, can train under Annual Calendar for Training and Competition scheme if chosen in the national camp.