File image of Neeraj Chopra© AFP

The sports ministry has approved Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra’s proposal to train at Loughborough University in the UK. Star javelin thrower Neeraj, along with coach Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist Ishaan Marwaha, would be training at Loughborough for 63 days and are set to leave for the UK later this week. Besides Neeraj, the government’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), in its 86th meeting Friday, also cleared the proposals for shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, wrestler Deepak Punia, and javelin thrower and Commonwealth Games medallist Annu Rani.

The approximate cost for the training of all the above-mentioned athletes would be around Rs 94 lakh which would be cleared under the sports ministry’s National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

Srikanth, along with his coach and physiotherapist will be training at Prisma Sports Club in Jakarta for 29 days. Punia will be with his physiotherapist in Michigan for 34 days, while Annu Rani will be training with her physiotherapist at Leichtathletik-Gemeinschaft (LG) Offenburg, Germany under coach Werner Daniels who had earlier also trained Neeraj.

Funding for these would be provided under the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and would cover the player and their support staff’s flight, accommodation, local travel, and food costs among other expenditures.

TOPS will also provide each athlete an out-of-pocket allowance of USD 50 per day for any other expense they might incur during their stay.

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