The Khelo India Youth Games in Madhya Pradesh starting January 30 will see multiple Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Development athletes taking to the field. This elevates the magnitude of the games as the TOPS athletes, who are international achievers already, will inspire the grassroots level athletes to up the ante and provide a tough contest.
Close to a total of 6000 athletes are set for competition that will take place in 8 cities of Madhya Pradesh – Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Mandla, Khargone (Maheshwar), Balaghat and in New Delhi.
The Khelo India Youth Games will feature a total of 27 disciplines; water sports being included for the first time in the history of the games. Water sports disciplines like Canoe Slalom, Kayaking, Canoeing and Rowing will also feature alongside the usual sports and the indigenous games. Fencing is also being included.
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme, launched in 2014 under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), Government of India, has been a professional setup to provide holistic support to all athletes. The scheme provides personalized coaching support to the athletes from the best global coaches, International training sessions, visa facilitation support as well as top-of-line research support to track opponent performances.
The chief objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance and other help to athletes in their pursuit of medals in the Olympics and other international sporting events. In 2020, the TOPS Development was launched as well to produce Olympic winners in 2028 targeting children as young as 10 – 12 years.
This edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will feature athletes taking part in the U-18 age category. The list of TOPS Development athletes listed to participate:
Bishal Changmai – Maharashtra
Manjiri Alone – Maharashtra
Ridhi – Haryana
Payas Jain – Delhi
Yashaswini Ghorpade – Karnataka
Apeksha Fernandes – Maharashtra
Ridhima Veerendrakumar – Karnataka
Shreya Gupta (Sabre) – Jammu and Kashmir
Akanksha Vyavahare – Maharashtra
Markio Tario – Arunachal Pradesh
Boni Mangkhya – Rajasthan
Unnati Hooda – Haryana
Shiva Narwal (10mAP) – Haryana
Tejaswani (25mSP) – Haryana
Nischal (50m3P Rifle) – Haryana