Neeraj Chopra and Kidambi Srikanth to train abroad, ministry releases funds for trips

The sports ministry has approved Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra’s proposal to train at Loughborough University in the UK, along with coach Klaus Bartonietz and physio Ishaan Marwaha. Neeraj would be training at Loughborough for 63 days and is set to leave for the UK later this week.

Apart from sanctioning Neeraj’s trip, the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) also cleared the training proposals of Kidambi Srikanth, wrestler Deepak Punia, and javelin thrower national record holder Annu Rani. The estimated cost of the training of these athletes is seen as Rs 94 lakh, which would be cleared under the sports ministry’s National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

Srikanth, India’s star shuttler, would be training at the Prisma Sports Club in Jakarta for 29 days, along with his coach and physiotherapist. On the other hand, Punia will be with his physiotherapist in Michigan for 34 days, while Annu Rani will train at Leichtathletik-Gemeinschaft (LG) Offenburg, Germany, under coach Werner Daniels.

The funding comes under the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and would cover flight expenses, accommodation, local travel, and food costs among other expenditures. The TOPS will also provide all with a daily allowance of $50, in case of other expenditures.

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