Sports Ministry adds seven former athletes to Mission Olympics Cell

New Delhi: Football icon Bhaichung Bhutia and long jumper Anju Bobby George were among seven former athletes who were included in the Mission Olympic Cell on Thursday as India looked to build on the successes of Tokyo Olympics for a stronger show in Paris 2024 edition.

MOC drives India’s Olympics preparation through Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS), an initiative of the ministry.

Former India hockey captain Sardara Singh, rifle shooting legend Anjali Bhagwat, former hockey captain and CEO Olympic Gold Quest Viren Rasquinha, table tennis star Monalisa Mehta and badminton ace Trupti Murgunde were the other athletes added to revamped MOC.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said the decision was driven by the experience gained in the last Olympic cycle.

“The inputs by former athletes in the incumbent MOC played a significant role in supporting the training and competition of the athletes who competed in Tokyo 2020 and won 7 medals & 19 in Para Olympic Games,” Thakur said.

Olympian sailor and sports science specialist Malav Shroff will continue to be in the MOC, which will be chaired by Director General, SAI, Sandip Pradhan.

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adile Sumeriwala and CEO TOPS Cmde Pushpendra Garg are other former players in the MOC.

Union minister Arjun Munda, Ajay Singh and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by virtue of president of Archery Association of India, Boxing Federation of India and Wrestling Federation of India will be part of the MOC.

MOC is a body set up by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to select athletes for financial assistance under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

The MOC also focuses on selection, exclusion and retention of athletes, coaches, training institutes that can receive TOPS assistance.

The Indian contingent returned with a record seven medals, including a historic athletics gold, from the Tokyo Olympics, which was followed by the para athletes stellar show at the ensuing Paralympics in the Japanese capital.

Mission Olympic Cell: Baichung Bhutia, Anju Bobby George, Anjali Bhagwat, Trupti Murgunde, Sardara Singh, Viren Rasquinha, Malav Shroff, Monalisa Mehta, Presidents of Indian Olympic Association, Wresting Federation of India, Archery Association of India and Boxing Federation of India, Executive Director (TEAMS), SAI; Director (Sports), MYAS; CEO, TOPS (Convenor) and Joint CEO, TOPS (Co-convenor).

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  1. Table Tennis Associations in India helps to promote develop and enhance the prospect of Indian Table Tennis, a large number of National and State level associations have been established, so far in the country. Table Tennis Associations in India organise various international Table Tennis tournaments, as well. The Table Tennis Federation of India is headed by President Mr. Dushyant Chautala and Secretary-General Mr.Arun Kumar Banerjee.

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