Archer Deepika Kumari re-inducted in TOPS; squash players in development group

Archer Deepika Kumari re-inducted in TOPS; squash players in development group

Deepika Kumari included in TOPS after being left out post a string of poor performances in 2022

India’s top female archer Deepika Kumari has been re-induced into the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) core list. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ (MYAS) Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) took the decision to induct the archer at their 133rd meeting.

With less than 100 days to go for the Paris Olympics 2024, the MOC felt re-inducting Deepika into the core group would help the archer scale new heights at the Olympics, an event in which Deepika has been under performing.

The archer was out of action due to maternity break and recently made a comeback at the Asia Cup 2024 and has been doing well both at the domestic stage and the international stage.

Over the weekend, Deepika won the silver medal in the women’s individual event at the 2024 Archery World Cup Stage I in Shanghai.

Deepika lost to Asian Games champion Lim Sihyeon in the final 27-26, 29-27, 28-27 to settle for the silver medal.

Both Deepika and her husband Atanu Das were notably dropped from the TOPS list after disappointing performances at the Tokyo Olympics, Archery World Cup Finals in 2021, and subsequently at the national archery ranking tournament in January 2022.

Besides Deepika, archer Mrinal Chauhan has also been inducted to TOPS development group while archer Pravin Jadhav moved from the development to the core group.

Meanwhile, with an eye on the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, squash players Anahat Singh, Abhay Singh and Velavan Senthilkumar were included in the TOPS development group to help them prepare for the showpiece event in 2028.

Squash will make a first appearance at the Olympics in 2028 after the Los Angeles organising committee, in October 2023, accepted the sport’s inclusion in the event.

The MOC’s move to include the squash players in the TOPS list comes after India’s performance in the sport in the past two decades, especially at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. The TOPS will provide all required assistance to the players to prepare for the global event.

Meanwhile, para- powerlifter Ashok has been inducted into the TOPS core group too.

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