Govt omits Sushil, Yogeshwar name from Target Olympic Podium Scheme
New Delhi : In a bold move, the Indian government has omitted Olympic medal winning wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme. Both the wrestlers welcomed the move and said there was no point taking funds from the government when they are out of action.
Besides Sushil and Yogeshwar, the famous Phogat sisters Geeta and Babita—faced the axe too.
While Sushil was not a part of the Indian squad at the Rio Games last year following a snub by the WFI, Yogeshwar, who bowed out in the first round, had already made it clear that Rio was his last Olympics.
So, Sushil and Yogeshwar’s exclusion from the list hardly came as a surprise.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) have sent a revised list of grapplers to the Sports Ministry for funding under the TOPS, with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Apart from the stalwarts of Indian wrestling, the list also does not have the likes of Rahul Aware, Amit Kumar Dahiya and Praveen Rana, all of whom figured in the original list, made in 2015-16, ahead of the Rio Olympics.
Keeping the future in mind, WFI has included names such as Sandeep Tomar (men’s 57kg), Bajrang Punia (men’s 65kg), Jitendra (men’s 74kg), Ritu Phogat (women’s 45kg), Vinesh Phogat (women’s 48kg), Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik (women’s 58kg) for the TOPS funding. Sakshi, Vinesh and Bajrang figured in the original list of 2015-16 also.
Although Sakshi has been included, some doubts have emerged over her continuation in the sport after her marriage.