The 2016 Rio Olympics are less than 9 months away. India is planning to better its 2012 tally of six medals. This would be possible only if India is able to send a contingent of at least 100 athletes. According to information available with the government, 57 Indians have qualified so far for the 2016 Olympics, and 32 of them are from Hockey (Men & Women).
What is the Government doing to improve the medal tally?
The Government has formulated the ‘Target Olympic Podium Scheme’ (TOP Scheme). The funding for this scheme will come from the National Sports Development Fund. The objective of the scheme is to identify and support potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The selected athletes are being provided financial assistance for their customized training at institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support.
A total of 106 sportspersons including nine Para athletes have been identified to be funded under this scheme. Financial assistance is being provided for customized training and other support after scrutiny of the proposals from them.
Out of the 106 sportspersons selected for the TOP scheme, 26 are from Athletics, 10 each from Badminton and Boxing, 19 from Shooting, 16 from Archery and nine from Wrestling.
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So far, 88 sportspersons have applied for assistance and an assistance of Rs.6.22 crore has been sanctioned to them. The total outlay for the scheme is about 43 crore.
Plans for Rio 2016
The Sports Ministry has identified nine sports disciplines (Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Hockey, Shooting, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling) for Rio Olympics 2016, and the training of sportspersons in these disciplines has already begun.
Tennis players have their own individual training plans.
How many have qualified so far?
Till date, 25 individual sportspersons and Hockey teams (Men & Women) of 16 members each, have qualified for Rio Olympics 2016, taking the total to 57.
Many more are expected to qualify especially for Boxing, Badminton, Tennis, and Wrestling etc. where the qualifiers are pending. Some of those qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics have been strangely left out of the TOP scheme like Athletes Baljinder Singh, Chandan Singh, Jaisha, Sudha Singh, Lalita and Shooter Miraj Ahmed Khan. The government does not give any concrete reason for leaving them out.