Abhinav Bindra was on Friday appointed as the chairman of the re-constituted Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Committee which will try to identify talent for the quadrennial games. Former sprint queen PT Usha and badminton great Prakash Padukone among others have also been named in the committee. Bindra, who won the historic gold at the 2008 Olympic Games, was part of the previous committee as well but quit to focus on his preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The two other sports persons in the 10-member panel are shooter Anjali Bhagwat and woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari, the 2000 Sydney Olympics bronze medallist.
The remaining five members are All India Tennis Association (AITA) Life President Anil Khanna, Boxing administrator PK Muralidharan Raja, Railways Sports Promotion Board Secretary Rekha Yadav, SS Roy, ED (Teams) SAI and Joint Secretary (Sports) Inder Dhamija.
"Committee will decide on its own procedures and will be competent to invite subject experts as and when required. The Initial tenure of the committee will be one year from the date of notification," a ministry press release stated.
The Committee has the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under the TOP Scheme, which was formulated keeping in mind the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
Under the scheme, the selected athletes are provided financial assistance for their customised training at Institutes having world-class facilities and other necessary support which is expected to result in improved performance and a higher position in medals tally for the country.
Benchmark for selection of athletes under the scheme is in relation to international standards.
(With PTI inputs)