Telangana athletes delighted with TOPS inclusion

Hyderabad: State athletes, who aspire to represent India at the upcoming Paris Olympics in 2024, received a boost when six of them were named to the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) by the Olympic Mission Cell (MOC) formed by the Ministry of Youth. Business and Sports.

(Left to right) Akula Sreeja, Somnath Ghosh and S Fidel R Snehit

Promising shooters Esha Singh, Dhanush Srikanth and Kynan Chenai along with table tennis players Akula Sreeja, S Fidel R Snehit and KVL weightlifter Pavani Kumari have been named to the list of 148 athletes from seven disciplines who will receive a financial and training support from the Sports Center and Authority of India (SAI).

KVL Pavani Kumari

Esha, who was also part of TOPS last year, said the move was a big motivation. “I am very happy. This inclusion will make me work harder and bring me one step closer to my dream of representing India at the Olympics. I am motivated to do well,” said the 16-year-old who was also part of the game. of the Indian Shooting Team for the Tokyo Games but narrowly missed the bus.

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Dhanush Srikanth also delighted with its inclusion. “I am very happy to know that I was selected in TOPS. I thank the Indian government for their support and I will continue to work with my coaches and mentor Gagan (Narang) sir to improve, represent and perform for India at the highest level, ”said Srikanth.

Meanwhile, Sreeja’s table tennis is in heaven. “It’s a big break for me. Now I can play more international tournaments which are crucial to improve the world ranking. Whenever you want to play a big tournament, they will only consider the world ranking. Although I was no.1 in India recently, I was unable to participate in the world championship due to a poor world ranking. But now I can improve my ranking by playing more international events, ”said Sreeja from Dehradun where she is competing in the East Zone National Championships.

Snehit said his inclusion was a big boost to his confidence. “I am grateful for my inclusion. It also means I’m right on the subject. I am happy that the federation recognized me as an elite athlete. It’s a big boost for me for the future, ”said the lanky 21-year-old paddler.

Meanwhile, coach Somnath Ghosh, who is instrumental in the rise of Sreeja and Snehit after the Telangana government appointed him state coach by delegation, said Sreeja was supposed to be in the TOPS last year even. “She was India’s No.1 and had a good world ranking. But it was not included last year. This time, too, she should be in the core team and not in the development group. But it’s good that they included her with Snehit. Snehit is also a bright prospect, ”he said.

There could be more state athletes on the roster as the MOC will meet again later this month to add a few in other disciplines.

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