Tops support for Paris-bound golfers, Shubhankar Sharma, Diksha Dagar; foreign camp for race walker

New Delhi, April 19 (IANS): Golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Diksha Dagar will get substantial assistance from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the run-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In its meeting on Thursday, the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) also decided to move Shubhankar 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 the TOPS Core group due to his recent form. He is currently ranked 52nd in the OGR.

The 27-year-old Shubhankar Sharma, the highest-ranked Indian professional golfer, has also approved his request for financial assistance for nine international tournaments and two Majors, the US Open and the British Open. It will enable 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 Diksha Dagar, who is ranked 39th in the women’s Olympic Golf Ranking, for nine international tournaments on the Ladies European Tour besides a training stint in Le Golf National, the venue for the Olympic Games competition. Diksha is set to join Hangzhou Asian Games silver medallist Aditi Ashok in the French capital.

The MOC approved support to race walker Priyanka Goswami for foreign training camps as part of preparation for Paris 2024. She will train for 11 days in Turkey, 11 days in Poland and 15 days in Portugal. She will also undertake 30 days of high-altitude training in Switzerland besides 17 days of sea-level training in France before the Games.

Famed paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal’s proposal to hire a nutritionist till the Paris Games besides equipment, shoes and supplements has also been approved.

The 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 cleared by MOC. Similarly, Sreeja Akula’s request to include personal coach Somnath Ghosh for the Saudi meet was approved.

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

Besides, proposals from para-archer Rakesh Kumar to acquire an active wheelchair and para-athlete Dilip M Gavit’s expenses towards engaging experts to prepare for the Paralympic Games were also approved by MOC.


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Title: Tops support for Paris-bound golfers, Shubhankar Sharma, Diksha Dagar; foreign camp for race walker

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