The Sports Ministry on Thursday granted financial assistance to several athletes across the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) core and development groups, including Tokyo Paralympics silver medallist Nishad Kumar and ace woman table tennis player Manika Batra, to support them in their preparations for upcoming competitions .
Nishad, who created an Asian record of 2.06m in the T-47 men’s high jump, has been given a financial assistance of Rs 18.9 lakh towards training at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, United States. He has already left for the 73-day training camp, which started on Thursday and will continue until August 12, along with his physiotherapist Aalaap Jawadekar. Nishad, who will be in action during the Asian Para Games next year, will be training in Chula Vista under Jeremy Fischer, who is the lead coach and director of the center.
Paddlers Batra and Sreeja Akula have also been extended support. While the former has been provided financial support to have her personal coach Chris Pfeiffer for the WTT Contender Zagreb (June 13-19), Sreeja has been provided financial assistance towards participation in WTT Feeder Otocec, Slovenia (June 20-26).
3000m steeplechase runner Avinash Sable, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, has been granted financial assistance to travel to Colorado Springs. He will compete at the Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco, on June 5. Sable, who is a part of the TOPS core team, will also be assisted with a masseur as well as a Garmin GPS watch. The total financial assistance provided to him is Rs 3.52 lakh.
Tokyo Olympian Annu Rani has also been assisted financially for the procurement of Nemeth and Nordic Valhalla javelins, which will cost Rs 4.15 lakh. Swimmer Aneesh Gowda has been provided financial assistance towards participation in Singapore National Swimming Championships (June 23-26), while men’s sabre fencer Karan Singh has been extended support for a training camp at the Bauer Fencing Academy Orleans, France, from June 1 to July 31.
Karan, who will train under the watchful eyes of Christian Bauer, will compete in the Asian Fencing Championship in Seoul from June 10-15 as well as in the Senior World Fencing Championship in Cairo from July 15-23. The only other fencer from India who is training under Bauer is Olympian Bhavani Devi.