The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that 57 athletes (25 in individual events and 16 members each of men and women Hockey team) have already qualified for participation in Rio Olympics 2016. More sportspersons are expected to qualify for participation in Rio Olympics 2016 as the qualification process will go on upto the first week of July 2016.
Preparations for improving the performance of the sportspersons and teams of the country in international sports events including Rio Olympics 2016 is an ongoing exercise. Coaching camps, customized training within the country and abroad with scientific back-up, competition exposures and engagement of foreign coaches are planned accordingly.
He said, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports have formulated a Scheme namely, ‘Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme’ with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. Focused disciplines are Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today the Minister said, 106 athletes have been identified so far through a process of research and consultation with the National Sports Federations and National Coaches/ Experts of the relevant disciplines. Financial assistance is being provided to these athletes for customized training and other support.