Simranjit Kaur, 2018 World Championship bronze medallist, is among the four boxers who have been included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), the Sports Authority of India (SAI) informed on Monday.
Along with Simranjit (60 kg), Ashish Kumar (men’s 75 kg), Satish Kumar (men’s 91+ kg) and Pooja Rani (women’s 75 kg) are the other three boxers included in the TOPS. All four boxers won the quotas for the Tokyo Olympic Games at the Asian Boxing Qualifiers held in March earlier this year.
The decision to include them in the scheme was taken at the 50th Mission Olympic Cell meeting held on November 26.
2012 Olympic bronze medallist and six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, who participates in women’s 51 kg, is among the six boxers retained in TOPS after a performance review, SAI further said in a statement.
The other boxers retained in the scheme include Kavinder Singh Bisht, Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik, Vikas Krishan and Lovlina Borgohain.
Nikhat Zareen (women’s 51 kg), Sonia Chahal (women’s 57 kg) and Shiva Thapa (men’s 63 kg) have been moved to the TOPS Developmental group from the Core Group.
Zareen participates in the same weight category as Mary Kom who has won the Olympic quota while Thapa participates in the same weight category as Manish Kaushik who has also earned a quota.
The TOPS scheme is a flagship program of the sports ministry which is an attempt to provide assistance to country’s top athletes.
As per the SAI website, the scheme looks to “add a premium to the preparations of these athletes so that they can win Olympic medals in 2020 and 2024 Olympics”.