Mary Kom has asked the government for considering a younger boxer to be given permission to participate in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) rather than her. The only three female boxers that are now a part of the TOPS Core group are Mary Kom, Lovlina Borgohain, and Pooja Rani.
"I have had great support from Government over many years, but I think it is time to let a younger athlete get support to chase the Olympic dream. So, I request the Mission Olympic Cell not to consider me for an extension in TOPS," Olympic medalist and six-time world champion wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
Youthful boxers like Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas, Arundhati Chaudhary, and Jaismine Lamboria are among those in the Development group.
When TOPS, the Sports Ministry's flagship initiative, was originally presented in advance of the 2016 Olympics, Mary Kom, then 39, was among its first recipients. She continued to participate in the TOPS programme until 2018, at which point she rejoined the list in time for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2018. Mary has expressed her intention to be removed from the TOPS list two months before she turns 40.
The TOPS programme, which aims to give the best Indian athletes top-notch care, includes a clause for an out-of-pocket allowance of Rs. 50,000 per month, training with reputable coaches at institutions with top-notch facilities, competing internationally, purchasing equipment, the services of support staff/personnel like physical trainers, sports psychologists, mental trainers, and physiotherapists, as well as any other support specialised to the sport.