Nikhat, Manika, Sreeshankar's request for TOPS funding to train abroad cleared by sports ministry

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Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen (File image)

New Delhi: Several top athletes, including the Olympic-bound trio of boxer Nikhat Zareen, long jumper Murali Sreeshankar, and table tennis player Manika Batra's request for financial assistance to train abroad was on Wednesday cleared by the Sports Ministry following a meeting here.


Boxers Nikhat, Preeti Pawar, Parveen Hooda and Lovlina Borgohain will travel to Turkey for a foreign training camp along with their coaches and a physio, the ministry said in a statement.

Wrestlers Sujeet (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg) and Naveen (74kg) will head to Russia along with their sparring partners, a coach and physiotherapists to train ahead of the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament later this month.

All the assistance is being provided under the ministry's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).


Shotgun shooter Bhowneesh Mendiratta's Mendiratta, who has secured a Paris quota place for the country, will travel to Italy to train with personal coach Daniele Di Spigno for the ISSF World Cup in Baku.

Asian Games and Commonwealth Games medallist Sreeshankar's proposal for competing in the Diamond League in Suzhou and Doha was also cleared.

TOPS will cover Sreeshankar's coach and psychologist's airfare, boarding/lodging cost, out-of-pocket allowance, visa fees and medical insurance cost, among other expenses.

India's top TT player Manika Batra will get financial assistance for participation in the WTT Feeder Varazdin in Croatia. Her coach Aman Balgu will accompany her for participation in World Mixed Doubles Olympic Qualification Event in Havirov, Czech Republic.

Three shooters -- Anantjeet Singh Naruka and Raiza Dhillon (skeet) and Rajeshwari Kumari (trap) -- and para-badminton player Palak Kohli were also included in the TOPS core group for this Olympic cycle.