Paris-bound golfers Sharma, Dagar get TOPS support

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) Star India golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Diksha Dagar will get substantial assistance from Sports Ministry's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for their preparations in the run-up to the Paris Olympics.

In its meeting on Thursday, the ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) also decided to move Sharma, ranked 46th in the men's Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR), from the TOPS development group to the core group.

Asian Games silver medallist and 11-time Asian Tour champion Gaganjeet Bhullar was directly inducted into TOPS core group due to his recent form. He is currently ranked 52nd in the OGR.

The 27-year-old Sharma's request for financial assistance for nine international tournaments and two Majors, US Open and the British Open has been approved.

It will enable his coach Jesse Grewal to be with him at five events besides helping him engage a physiotherapist and dietician.

Similarly, financial assistance will be extended to Dagar, who is ranked 39th on women's OGR, for nine international tournaments on the Ladies European Tour besides a training stint in Le Golf National, venue for the Olympic Games competition.

Dagar is set to join Hangzhou Asian Games silver medallist Aditi Ashok in the French capital.

The MOC also extended support to race walker Priyanka Goswami for foreign training camps as part of preparation for the Paris Games.

She will train for 11 days in Turkey, 11 days in Poland and 15 days in Portugal. She will also undertake 30 days high-altitude training in Switzerland besides 17 days of sea-level training in France prior to the Games.

Veteran table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal's proposal to hire a nutritionist till the Paris Games besides equipment, shoes and supplements has also been approved.

India's top woman paddler Manika Batra's request to include sparring partner Kiryl Barabanov for participation in WTT Saudi Smash from May 1 to 11 in Jeddah was also cleared by the MOC.

Similarly, Sreeja Akula's request to include personal coach Somnath Ghosh for the Saudi meet has also been approved.

The MOC also cleared swimmer Srihari Nataraj's request for providing financial assistance towards participation in Malaysia Invitational Age Group Championships 2024 in Kuala Lumpur from April 21 to 29, training camps and recovery facilities till Paris Games.

The proposals from para archer Rakesh Kumar to meet active wheelchair and para athlete Dilip M Gavit's expenses towards engaging experts to prepare for Paralympic Games were also approved by the MOC. PTI SSC SSC UNG

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