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Written by: Anjali Mishra
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports' Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has added golfers Anirban Lahiri, Aditi Ashok, Diksha Dagar, rider Fouaad Mirza, and skier Mohammed Arif Khan to the list of athletes who will receive support under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
Aditi Ashok came fourth in the Olympic golf tournament
In addition to these five athletes, golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Tvesa Malik, as well as judokas Yash Ghangas, Unnati Sharma, and Linthoi Chanambam, have been included to the Development group.These additions take the number of athletes under TOPS to 301, including 107 in the Core group.
The Ministry primarily supports elite athletes through each National Sports Federation's Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC). TOPS offers athletes individualised help in areas not covered by the ACTC and solves unanticipated requirements of the athletes as they prepare to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Diksha Dagar hitting the shot on course
The 23-year-old Aditi Ashok, hailing from Bengaluru, grabbed international attention at Tokyo 2020 after being in medal reckoning throughout the competition. The 21-year-old left-hander Diksha Dagar, who is from Jhajjar in Haryana and is a silver medallist in the 2017 Summer Deaflympics, finished 50th in the Olympic Games last year.
Apart from golf, players like Mohammad Arif Khan, a skier from Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir, recently qualified for the Winter Olympic Games 2022, which will be held in Beijing next month. Fouaad Mirza won the eventing individual silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, riding Seigneur Medicott, and finished 23rd at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year. He is now number 87 in the world and is based in Germany. Astride Mokatoo, 29, has two top-10 results, one in Sopot in September and the other in Pratoni del Vivaro in November.
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