Shooter Jitu Rai became the latest sportsperson to be dropped from the list of sportspersons being supported by the much touted Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) on Tuesday. Three other shooters, along with Rai, have been dropped from the scheme due to below-par performances in the recent past.
As a consequence of sub-par performance in the recent and non-selection in Asian Games, Jitu Rai has been removed from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) on Tuesday. Apart from Rai, fellow shooters Yashaswini Deswal, Amanpreet Singh and Neeraj Kumar have also been dropped from the scheme. The Sports Authourity of India (SAI) announced that a thorough review of the performances of the shooters was undertaken to reach to the decision.
"Proposals of TOPS shooters of about Rs 50 lakhs who will be representing India at Asian Games and World Championships were approved at the meeting. A thorough performance review of shooters under TOPS was also undertaken and four shooters including Jitu Rai were dropped from the scheme, on grounds of recent below-par performances and non-selection in Asian Games and World Championship squads," the SAI said in a statement.
Rai had enjoyed good performances earlier this year which include gold in the men's 10m air pistol category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia last April. However, subsequent poor form saw him being dropped from the Indian squad for next month's Asian Games.
The SAI also informed that skeet shooters Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Sheeraz Sheikh would be provided a sports psychologist and physiotherapist for a brief period while trap shooter Seema Tomar would be given financial assistance to participate in the Italian Open Green Cup.
"Skeet shooters Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Sheeraz Sheikh are both training under TOPS in Italy under world-renowned coach Ennio Falco. The committee approved the hiring of sports psychologist Giovanna Menditto and physiotherapist Bruno Beniamino for both shooters for a period of 10 days each at a combined cost of Rs. 6.13 Lakhs (Rs. 3.06 lakhs each)," the statement said.
"An amount of Rs 3.25 lakh has been sanctioned to trap shooter Seema Tomar as financial assistance to participate in the Italian Open Green Cup competition from July 21 to August 1. The expenses will also include ammunition and gun maintenance," the SAI added. "Rs. 6.43 lakhs has been sanctioned to double trap shooter Ankur Mittal. This amount includes the purchase of wooden stock, competition expenses for participating in the Italian Open Green Cup and training in Italy with coach Marcello Dradi at Conselice."