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CWG medallists dropped in TOPs scheme reshuffle; Gagang Narang, Lalita Babar also axed

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has decided to remove weightlifters Ragala V Rahul, Punam Yadav and Sathish Sivalingam from the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme. All three axed weightlifters, Sathish in 77kg, Rahul in 85kg and Punam in 69kg had won gold at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Gagan Narang removed from TOPs scheme

Apart from them, ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang, woman distance runner Lalita Babar and 20km race walker K Ganapathy were among 12 athletes axed from the TOPs scheme. The other shooters who failed to be in the list after the reshuffle were shooters Harveen Sarao, Pooja Ghatkar, Meghna Sajjanar, Satyendra Singh, Omkar Singh and Prakash Nanjappa.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) said in a statement that the athletes were dropped from the cash incentive scheme due to poor recent performances and fitness concerns.

Seema Punia and Navjeet Kaur included i TOPs scheme

An official of the Weightlifting Federation of India (WFI) informed that Punam Yadav was left out because of indiscipline. She was temporarily suspended by the WFI as she did not join the camp after returning from Gold Coast. On the other hand, Satish Shivalingam is currently in rehabilitation after injuring his back while Rahul is recovering from a knee injury.

The Mission Olympic Cell included six new athletes to TOPS. Women discus throwers Seema Punia and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, teenage 400m runner Hima Das, shooters Akhil Sheoran and Elavenil Valarivan, weightlifter Rakhil Halder are the six inducted into the scheme.

Seema Punia won silver at the CWG while fellow discus thrower Navjeet Kaur had bagged a bronze. Hima Das qualified for the Women’s 400m final at Gold Coast CWG by clocking a personal best of 51.32 seconds. Akhil Sheoran and Elavenil Valarivan won gold at the Guadalajara World Cup and Sydney Junior World Cup. Rakhil Halder also had an impressive run in the Women’s 63kg category when she broke the 19-year-old national record of Olympic medallist Karnam Malleswari.

About Poulomi Kundu

PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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