The Sports Authority of India (SAI) Mission Olympic Cell has included 10 boxers in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The boxers include MC Mary Kom (women's 51 kg), Amit Panghal (men's 52 kg), Sonia Chahal (women's 57 kg), Neeraj (women's 57 kg), Nikhat Zareen (women's 51 kg), Kavinder Singh Bisht (men's 57 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (women's 69 kg), Vikas Krishan (men's 75 kg), Shiva Thapa (men's 63 kg) and Manish Kaushik (men's 63 kg).
India has so far won two Olympic medals in boxing -- Vijender Singh won the bronze in 2008 Beijing Games while Mary Kom won the bronze in 2012 London Games.
At a meeting held on Wednesday chaired by SAI DG Sandip Pradhan, the athletes were chosen on the basis of the following parameters -- global performance trends from most recent Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games and Asian Championships, performance of the competing international counterparts (athletes) in the last three years, performance of Indian athletes in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and their progression chart.
Apart from the boxers, the committee has also included 22-year-old women's 10m air pistol shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal in the TOPS scheme. Deswal won the gold in individual event at the recently concluded ISSF World Cup in Rio De Janeiro along with a silver in the mixed team event. Her gold medal earned India an Olympic quota in this event.
Badminton star Sai Praneeth has also been included in the TOPS scheme. At the recent World Championships in Basel, Praneeth lost in the semifinal to become the first Indian men's singles player in 36 years to win a medal.
At the meeting, financial proposals worth Rs 1.4 crore were cleared in 11 sporting disciplines, including weightlifting, wrestling, shooting, archery, table tennis, athletics, badminton, tennis, para-badminton, para-archery and para-shooting.