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Khelo India aims to give wings to Olympics dreams


Chandigarh, July 31

India may have secured only two medals so far in Tokyo, but the diversification of India’s participation is encouraging.

The central government has been trying to enlarge the talent pool through its flagship project Khelo India Games, meant for competitors up to age 21. For the next two Olympics cycles, over 250 athletes have already been identified for support, a large number of them coming through the Khelo India platform.

The Khelo India scheme, including talent identification, training support and monthly out of pocket allowance of Rs 10,000 to 3,000 athletes, has helped athletes in focussing on training.

Of the athletes who have gained nationwide prominence through Khelo India, swimmer Srihari Nataraj participated at Tokyo 2020. Srihari came to the fore at the School Games in New Delhi in 2018, and being supported by the Target Olympic Podium Scheme led to him achieving automatic qualification for the Games — hitherto an unthinkable achievement.

Javelin thrower Navdeep Singh and shuttler Palak Kohli, stars at Khelo India, will compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which start on August 24. — TNS

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