The Sports Ministry has released financial assistance of Rs 1018.90 lakh as on July 23, 2012 from its National Sports Development Fund for imparting customised training to elite athletes, who are medal prospects in the London Olympics and other major international events.
The financial assistance has been granted to 52 sportspersons, four coaches and six support staffs under the Operation London Excellence 2012, which also covers athletes who are not part of the Games.
The aid sanctioned is towards extensive training abroad, engagement of personal coaches both foreign and Indian, competitions exposures abroad, scientific back-up in terms of sports psychologists, physiotherapists, masseurs etc.
Out of the total amount of Rs 1018.90 lakh, shooters have got the maximum chunk -- about Rs 455 lakh, with Abhinav Bindra topping the list, having been sanctioned Rs 131.58 lakh so far for 155 days of training under Dr Uwe Riesterer at ISC, Germany during September 2011 to July 2012.
While Ronjan Sodhi and Manavjit Singh Sandhu have so far received Rs 110.20 lakh and Rs 113.33 lakh respectively from the government for 217 days of training under Serafino Carlini from July 2011 to July 2012.
Other shooters like Shagun Chowdary (Rs 37.03 lakh), Sanjeev Rajput (Rs 8.54 lakh), Joydeep Karmarkar (Rs 22.32 lakh), Heena Sidhu (Rs 7.36 lakh) have also got substantial sum for their preparation for the London Games.
Mansher Singh, who has not qualified for the Olympics, has also got Rs 14.64 lakh for 110 days training under Carlini from September 2011 to July 2012.
Nine Indian athletes have been sanctioned Rs 268.89 lakh, out of which shot putter Om Prakash Karhana received Rs 58.73 lakh for training at DOBO SE Szombathely in Hungary from June 2011 to July 2012, while discus thrower Krishna Poonia got Rs 58.01 lakh.
She trained at Mac Wilkins Productions, Concordia University Throw Center (USA) from July to October 2011 and then April to June 2012. In between she trained at IAAF High Performance Training Centre Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa during January to March 2012. Before the Olympics, she trained under Mac Wilkins in London in July.
Besides shooters and athletes, boxers (Rs 23.84 lakh), tennis players (Rs 169.46 lakh) and gymnasts (Rs 89.91 lakh) also got huge sums for training.
In addition, two teams of four male and five female gymnasts were sponsored by NSDF for training, while participation of Indian boxing team in three competitions was also financed under the same scheme. Training expenses of boxer MC Mary Kom will also be borne by NSDF.