The Mission Olympic Cell approved the inclusion on the recommendation of the national tennis federation.
Indian tennis players Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina have been added to the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) core group till the Asian Games 2022.
The Asian Games 2022 will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25.
TOPS is the Indian sports ministry’s flagship programme which helps identify and fund India’s medal prospects for marquee events.
The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), the body which decides which athletes make it to the TOPS list, approved the inclusion on Thursday after the All India Tennis Association (AITA) put forward the four names as medal hopefuls in the doubles events at the quadrennial meet.
India is the fifth most successful nation at the Asian Games in tennis. However, 17 of the country’s 32 medals have come in doubles.
While Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan are the reigning champions in men’s doubles at the continental meet, Sania Mirza is India’s most successful women’s player at Asian Games with medals at all the editions from 2002 to 2014.
Four-time Olympian Sania Mirza, however, had opted out from the Asian Games 2018. Ankita Raina filled the void by winning a bronze medal for India in singles at the same edition.
Teenage archer Manjiri Alone, who won bronze in the World Archery Youth Championships 2021, was also approved for assistance by the MOC.
Other athletes who will receive assistance will be shooters Gurjot Singh, Rudranksh Patil and Tokyo Paralympics silver medallist Singhraj Adhana.
By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Website : olympics.com
Photo : olympics.com