Target Olympic Podium Scheme: Veterans MC Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal find place in core group

The 17-year-old Shaili won the long jump silver at the World U20 Athletics Championships earlier this year.

Published: 25th December 2021 10:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2021 10:01 AM   |  A+A-

Six-time world champion woman boxer MC Mary Kom

Six-time world champion woman boxer MC Mary Kom (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Sports Ministry on Friday announced the second list of athletes included in the core and development groups of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). As many as 50 athletes were picked for the core group while 143 were included in the development group across eight disciplines.

Almost all the usual suspects as PV Sindhu, Deepika Kumari, MC Mary Kom and Muhammed Anas Yahiya retained their respective places in the core group. Seasoned shuttler Saina Nehwal, who couldn't qualify for the Tokyo Games, also managed to keep her place in the core group.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) on Thursday. Earlier this month, the ministry had released the first list comprising 148 sportspersons including 52 for core group in seven Olympic disciplines and six Paralympic disciplines.

The under-20 World Athletics silver medallist Shaili Singh (long jump) is among the athletes across eight disciplines who were named in the core group in the second list. The 17-year-old Shaili won the long jump silver at the World U20 Athletics Championships earlier this year.

Ridhima Veerendra, the 14-year-old from Karnataka who impressed with her performances at the recently concluded junior and senior national championships, was among the 17 swimmers named in the development group.

"The MOC accepted a recommendation by a sub-committee that a review of the swimming list be undertaken after the World Championships in June next year and of the archery list after the National Ranking tournament next month. Some other sport like equestrian, golf, gymnastics, judo and tennis will be taken up later," the ministry said.

With the second list, the MOC has now increased the count to 291, including 102 in the core croup.  


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