New Delhi : In a bid to strengthen Asian Games and Commonwealth Games preparations, the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) approved financial assistance of Rs 7 lakh per month to re-hire Mathias Boe as the doubles coach of India. He will specifically be looking after the men’s doubles pair of Satwik and Chirag Shetty and also other members of the doubles team. Boe’s hiring has been done until Asian Games 2022.
In a Mission Olympic Cell meeting on Thursday, proposals from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to assist in the participation of shuttlers at the Asian championships in Philippines scheduled to start April 26, were also approved.
The support has been extended to Women’s Singles player Aakarshi Kashyap, Women’s Doubles pair Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam, Mixed Doubles pair Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar, Men’s Doubles pair Vishnuvardhan Goud P and Krishna Prasad as well as Arjun M R and Dhruv Kapila.
Currently ranked 52 in the world, Aakarshi Kashyap has been included in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games squad. Expressing her joy, she said, “I’m grateful to God that this has been possible (being named in the Commonwealth and Asian Games teams). It is entirely because of the support from my team and the coaching staff.”
Looking forward to the tournament in Philippines scheduled for next week and her challenging opening match, she added, “I am very thankful to TOPS because they accepted my request for assistance at the last minute. I have a tough draw there as I’m playing Akane Yamaguchi in the first round who recently won the All England Open 2022. I’ll try my best but the more matches I play, the more exposure I get and it all helps for the bigger cause.”
While Akarshi gets ready for the challenges ahead this year, she also makes sure to do the best in her upcoming exams. Revealing her ambitions from the big upcoming tournaments, the B.A. 3rd year student said, “I feel proud to have played many tournaments in the international circuit and I have the much-needed exposure. I really feel I can get a medal for India from the Commonwealth Games and I’m also looking forward to giving my best at the Asian Games.”
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme meanwhile also accepted the request from Olympics double medalist PV Sindhu to provide assistance to Vidhi Chaudhary, who will accompany the player at the Asian Championship in Philippines, in the place of existing coach Park Tae Sang. The Korean coach is currently on annual leave till May. Chaudhary is a NIS qualified coach who is training Sindhu at the Suchitra Academy Hyderabad.