20 more athletes added to TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme)
- The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports organized a meeting on 13 Dec in which 148 athletes were listed under the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) core group.
- The list included 20 new athletes.
- The list has players across seven sports which are Cycling, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
- Target Olympic Podium Scheme is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which is an attempt to provide assistance to India’s top athletes.
- The Scheme looks to add a premium to the preparations of these athletes so that they can win medals in major events like the Olympics, Paralympics, Asian Games, CWG, and more.
- The Scheme currently supports 104 TOPS Core Group athletes across 13 sports disciplines & Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams and 269 TOPS Development Group athletes across 12 sports disciplines which are being supported for future mega-events like the 2024 Paris Games and 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Significance of TOPS scheme
- Indian history at the Olympics has mostly been recognized through its incredible performances in Hockey.
- But with time the nation saw a downfall at the mega-event.
- From the 2000 Sydney Olympics to 2012 London, India managed to clinch a total of 11 medals at four Olympics.
- On the other hand, in the Paralympics. India won only 12 medals since the inception of the Paralympic Games to the 2016 Paralympics games.
- And with a nation of immense talent, it’s not enough.
- To uplift the performance at the Olympics and the Paralympic, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports started the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in September 2014 and from there, the results were immediate.
- The TOPS-sponsored athletes gained relative success at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.