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16 shooters, 3 Table Tennis players included in new TOPS list

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Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary along with eight other young shooters were on Thursday included in the Target Olympic Scheme (TOPS) keeping in mind the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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As many as 16 shooters along with two Tennis players and three paddlers were included in the scheme, which offers a monthly financial support of Rs 50,000to the selected athletes, said a report in news agency PTI.

“The performance of potential athletes was reviewed in the context of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It was also decided to extend support towards a specific developmental group for the 2024 Olympics,” a Sports Authority of India (SAI) release said, reports the agency.

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Both Bhaker and Chaudhary (10m Air Pistol) had clinched gold medals at the recently concluded Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Others shooters, who made the cut are: Mehuli Ghosh (10m air rifle), Anish Bhanwala (25m rapid fire pistol), Elavenil Valarivan (10m air rifle), Lakshay Sheoran (Trap) and veteran Sanjeev Rajput (50m rifle 3 position), Ravi Kumar (10m Air Rifle), Deepak Kumar (10m Air Rifle, Apurvi Chandela (10m Air Rifle), Anjum Moudgil (10m Air Rifle, 50m Rifle 3 Position), Abhishek Verma (10m Air Pistol), Om Prakash Mitharwal (10m Air Pistol), Rahi Sarnobat (25m Pistol), Kynan Chenai (Trap), and Angad Veer Singh Bajwa (Skeet).

Six other shooters have also been kept in the development group for the 2024 Olympics. They are, Hriday Hazarika (10m Air Rifle), Divyansh Panwar (10m Air Rifle), Shreya Agrawal (10m Air Rifle), Aishwarya Pratap Tomar (50m Rifle 3 Position), Esha Singh (10m Air Pistol), Manisha Keer (Trap).

The two Tennis players included in the scheme are the Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna. While paddlers Manika Batra, Achanta Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan have also been named in the updated list.

Meanwhile, shooters Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai were excluded from the list but the committee has kept them on watchlist along with few other athletes. A call on their inclusion in the scheme will be taken post the World Cup in February 2019 to be held in New Delhi, the release added.

“The committee also decided that Sania Mirza could be considered for inclusion at a later date for Mixed Doubles depending on her plans to recommence training.”

An amount of Rs 8.75 lakhs for 25 days of training for wrestler Bajrang Punia has also been sanctioned. Punia along with his coach, fitness trainer and sparring partner will travel to Georgia for the training.

Also read: Manika Batra becomes first Indian to win ‘breakthrough Table Tennis Star’ Award

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