Sports Ministry provides financial assistance to five Indian swimmers
A file image of Srihari Nataraj.|
The Sports Ministry has decided to extend financial help to five Indian swimmers, which include the likes of Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj, under the Target Olympic Podium (TOPS) and ACTC schemes. The assistance is intended to help the swimmers prepare well for the upcoming competitions.
The list also includes the likes of Maana Patel, and young Kenisha Gupta, apart from Nataraj and Prakash. The latter two are part of the TOPS core group already, Maana and Kenisha are in the TOPS development group.
Sajan, who represented the country at the Tokyo Games, has been cleared for Rs 15.1 lakh (excluding pool fees and airfare), as a part of expenditure for training and participating in international events. For starters, he will be competing at the Danish Open in April, before featuring in three Mare Nostrum events across Monaco, Barcelona and Canet in May.
He will then go for a high-altitude training camp at the Sierra Nevada training centre in Spain between June and July.
"We are focused towards achieving big at the Big Two meets. We have some qualifying meets in April, May and June before the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. These meets will act as preparatory competitions for us to know where we stand to peak at the right time," Sajan told SAI from his training base in Dubai.
On the other hand, an amount of Rs 22.02 lakh has been approved for Nataraj, who also competed for India at Tokyo Olympics. The financial support also includes expenses for his personal coach and physiotherapist. He will be taking part in the French Open Swimming Championships, starting March 31 and Mare Nostrum, scheduled for May 18 to 23.
Lastly, Maana and Kenisha have been allotted Rs 3.89 lakh each for their participation in the French Open Swimming Championships, which also acts as a qualification event for the World Championships in Budapest in June.